Minister for Social Protection and Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys announced funding of €281,000 under Roscommon’s Community Support Fund during a visit to the county today.
The Minister said 152 community groups would benefit from funding as she made the announcement at the official opening of The Phoenix Youth and Community Hub in Ballaghaderreen.
Some of the groups set to receive funding include: Ballaghaderreen Social Service Day Care Centre CLG (€3,500); Culleen Hall Committee, Knockcroghery (€4,000); Roscommon Gaels GAA Hyde Centre (€4,500); Kilmurry Hall Committee, Castlerea (€5,200); Kilbride Community Centre (€4,700).
Prior to that engagement, the Minister carried out the official opening of a shared office space for Citizens Information, Money and Budgeting Services (MABS), and the Roscommon branch of the National Advocacy Service on the Golf Links Road in Roscommon town.
Minister Humphreys said the new joint premises was home to “three fantastic services” and paid tribute to officials at the Citizens Information Services, MABS, and the National Advocacy Service, describing the new facility as a “one stop shop” for public services.
She highlighted the work of Richard Regan (CIS) and Mike Donnelly (MABS) on bringing the project to fruition and said volunteers also had a key role to play in the Citizens Information Service.
Minister Humphreys accepted an earlier assertion by CIS Chair Vincent Roche that the demand for services had increased and intimated that a request for more full-time staff would be considered.
The importance of the face-to-face nature of all three services was highlighted and the Minister and those in attendance also heard from South Connacht MABS Chairperson Martin Greaney and NAS Regional Manager Anne Feehily as well as Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council Tom Crosby.
Later on, Minister Humphreys cut the ribbon at ‘The Cube FlexiSpace’ on the Lanesboro Road where she also launched the Local Employment Area Service for the county. She was greeted by staff of Roscommon Leader Partnership and was then interviewed live on air on Ros Fm after officially opening the community radio station’s new studio.
The Minister said remote working was a “game-changer for rural Ireland” and that it was her department’s intention to “light up Ireland” with remote working hubs, describing The Cube as a “top-class facility” that could accommodate up to 40 workers.
She congratulated Roscommon Leader Partnership for their work in repurposing the former HSE building for the 21st Century.
Citing the ‘Our Rural Future’ strategy from Government, Minister Humphreys said: “We want to help communities bring vacant buildings back into active use, providing the space for local enterprise to flourish while also providing much needed services”.
Minister Humphreys said that it was her objective to invest in communities so that more people could “live, work and raise a family” in their own towns and villages.
Those present for the opening also heard from Rural Recreation Officer Ronan Bilbow, Roscommon Leader Chairperson Micheál Frain and Fine Gael Senator Aisling Dolan.
Later that afternoon, the Minister carried out the official opening of The Phoenix Youth and Community Hub in Ballaghaderreen before announcing details of the County Roscommon Community Support Fund.
She then opened a new outdoor amenity at the Lake O’Flynn Harbour project before rounding off a busy day in Roscommon by cutting the ribbon on the new Enterprise Kiltullagh Digital Hub in Ballinlough.