Transition of Askamore Community Development Association to a Muintir na Tíre Community Council
Askamore Community Development Association has been deeply involved in the local community for the past 11 years.
Below is a list of some of the activities which it has undertaken:
Askamore Childcare set up – 11 people employed locally looking after 70 – 80 children.
Tidy Towns project, and village improvements
Askamore Community Centre Refurbishment
Looped walks on Sliabh Bhuí
There is always a strong need to get greater community involvement in our local committee, and also to branch out by looking for greater funding from national coffers. An opportunity in early 2011 presented itself to set up a Community Council, under Muintir na Tíre’s umbrella.
An election (with a follow-on needs-analysis survey) was therefore organised by the Community Development Association. This saw 4 people being nominated from each of the 4 clustered areas, thus making a Community Council of 16 people, with the possibility of adding further people as new projects are undertaken locally.
Some of the aims of Askamore Community Council will be as follows:
- The involvement of all the people of Askamore half parish in the promotion of the social, educational, culture and economic welfare of the whole community;
- To apply for national funding on behalf of all locally affiliated groups;
- To represent each and every member of the community and the community as a whole in dealing with local government and statutory bodies to seek where considered necessary, technical, financial and other assistance in the promotion of the common good and to advise and assist where possible the local authority in the exercise of its duties in the locality.
Muintir na Tíre’s regional development officer, James O’Neill, oversaw the running of the elections. He came to Askamore to speak to the local community, and then chaired the meeting at which the announcement of the results of the electiontook place. The ballot papers were collected by Friday, April 22nd, 2011, and James O’Neill then did the count, prior to the announcement.
The new Community Council will take responsibility for those groups and projects which were set up under the Community Development umbrella, and will ensure that correct procedures continue to be in place in running these groups. This is to ensure all legal requirements are being followed. It is envisaged that there will be between 6-10 meetings of the Council annually. There is no need to be on any other committee or be in any local group in order to serve on the Community Council. The term of office of council members is 3 years. Training and assistance will be provided for all new members and a gender and age balance will be welcome.
One of the first tasks of the newly formed Askamore Community Council will be to draw up a needs-analysis document based on what the local community wants to establish in the area. This will be announced as part of the Council’s 5-year plan at a public meeting in the new Activity Centre on November 25th, 2011.
The local townslands were divided up into roughly equal population groups, and people in each of the grouped areas were asked to nominate 4 people living in that area to represent the area on the new Community Council.
(1) Ballynancoran, Donishall, Ballytarsna, Askabeg, Bolinrush
(2) Askamore, Kiltilihane, Munny
(3) Ballyconran, Brideswell – Little & Big, Castlewhite, Knocknamota
(4) Burrow, Drummond, Motabower, Knockshaunfin, Park, Ballyellis
The following people now comprise the new Askamore Muintir na Tíre Community Council:
The new council’s first meeting, at which the officers were elected, took place on May 23rd, 2011.
The council then set the first Monday of every month as their meeting night, and have been meeting monthly ever since. Mick Carton was co-opted on to the council committee in October, so the committee stands at 17 members, all working hard to improve their local area.
November 25th, 2011 sees the launch of the proposed 5-year plan for this area, with a survey inviting comments from every household in the half-parish of Askamore. This will be collated in early 2012, with the results again being presented to the local community.