Minister Naughton unveils details of Roscommon’s Healthy Ireland Fund

Pictured at the launch of the Roscommon Healthy Ireland Fund initiative on Wednesday were (back row) Cllr Kathleen Shanagher, Cllr John Naughten, Cllr Laurence Fallon, Cllr John Cummins, Cllr Liam Callaghan, Senator Eugene Murphy and Sen Aisling Dolan, and (front row) Shane Tiernan (Chief Executive, Roscommon County Council) Cllr John Keogh (Cathaoirleach, Roscommon County Council), Sabrina Lawless (Healthy Ireland, County Co-Ordinator, Minister of State at the Department of Health Hildegarde Naughton and Una Ní Chuinn (Healthy Ireland Roscommon committee member and Acting Senior Executive Officer, Community and Enterprise, Roscommon County Council). Pic: Gerard O’Loughlin.

Details of Roscommon’s Healthy Ireland Fund (HIF) 2023-25 were announced by Minister of State at the Department of Health, Hildegarde Naughton TD at a formal launch in Aras an Chontae, Roscommon, on Wednesday, August 2nd.

Roscommon County Council have been approved for budget of €75,000 for 2023, and €40,000 per annum for 2024-2025, with the Healthy Ireland Fund. A new Healthy County Coordinator, Sabrina Lawless, has been appointed in Roscommon. The objectives of Roscommon’s Healthy Ireland programme are to increase the physical activity and mental health of target groups.

In the current round four model, there has been a shift from an activity-led programme to an evidence-based outcomes approach, guided by the Healthy Ireland Outcomes Framework Indicator Set. HIF Round 4 is committed to a targeted strategy, emphasising support for the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged groups and communities, aiming to tackle health inequalities effectively. Moreover, the HIF adopts a partnership approach, ensuring active involvement of target groups and local stakeholders in the planning and implementation of activities to achieve the desired outcomes.

HIF partnerships with Roscommon Sports Partnership and Roscommon LEADER Partnership demonstrates the collective belief in the power of working together towards our common goal. Upcoming initiatives with our partners include the ‘Fit Farmers’ campaign. This initiative aims to encourage farmers to engage in more physical activity, leading to self-reported improvements in their active lifestyle. Other programmes include the ‘Transition Year on Your Bike’ promotion, which focuses on increasing the number of students aged between 15 and 17 who cycle to school.

Other initiatives include an Age Friendly Activity Programme, which is aimed at increasing the overall health of our older population. And Children’s Multi Sports Camps will aim to encourage children aged between 5 and 17 years to try new forms of physical activity.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Naughton said the current round of HIF was a collaborative and multi-agency approach which would benefit the health and wellbeing of people of all ages in the county.

“It is wonderful to see so many people and groups come together with a shared vision to improve health and wellbeing facilities for the community. This vision has been turned into a reality here today thanks to the hard work and commitment of all involved”, the minister remarked.

Chief Executive of Roscommon County Council Shane Tiernan said the local authority would continue to enthusiastically support the latest round of the Healthy Ireland Fund, which he said would not only benefit the health and wellbeing of individuals but communities at large: “Here in Roscommon County Council the health and wellbeing of our staff and the communities we serve is paramount in the way we do our business. Delivering a better quality of life to our citizens is at the heart of all our decision making and the services we provide to the people we serve”.

Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council Cllr John Keogh said the programme would have positive outcomes for society at large: “Healthier lifestyles means people can come together to exercise and engage in healthy activities that improve social inclusion and cohesion.

“Better healthy means less pressure on our health and mental health services. It enables people to fulfil their potential and allows for greater performance in the workplace, in the community and for individuals themselves. This initiative is a win-win for all of society”, concluded the Cathaoirleach.