Last Thursday evening, September 24th, Ballyhoura Development CLG hosted its autumn District Forum virtually. The District Forum events provide a space for communities of the Ballyhoura area of north Cork and east Limerick to come together and discuss funding and grant opportunities, issues and challenges surrounding community, and generally to get together and chat and network. 

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this event took place online. This District Forum was themed around the provision of practical advice in relation to the hosting of AGMs online given the current circumstances. The session also focused on opportunity and inspiration with two communities sharing their story of connecting with each other during Covid and continuing to deliver service support to those that need it. In total, over 65 representatives from 40 communities took part.

The evening was opened by Padraig Fitzgerald, Chairperson of Ballyhoura Development with an update provided by CEO of Ballyhoura Development Padraig Casey.

Mairead Ryan and Helen Daly of Lough Gur Community opened the session with a sharing of their story of support to their most vulnerable residents across the period of lockdown. Hannah Casey of Mitchelstown Social Hub also spoke on the tools used to keep members engaged at this time. Both community stories showcasing the importance of continuing services through Covid at a time of great need.

Mary Gleeson of Ballyhoura Development CLG spoke on the subject of holding AGMs online during this current environment. The most recent act extending the holding of AGMs until the end of this year. Support is also available to community groups through Digital Skills in order to upskill on hosting AGMs virtually.

Diarmuid McIntyre of Grey Heron Media was the main speaker of the evening. The project “Living and Learning Communities” provides an opportunity to all groups and communities to gain training in how to communicate their story through the medium of audio and sound. 14 communities or groups will have an opportunity to participate in this initiative with a follow-on online workshop to be held on October 7th for those who wish to get involved.

The session ended with an update on upcoming training of interest and also upcoming funding deadlines presented by John Hassett & Sean Sweeney of Ballyhoura Development CLG.

The evening concluded with a question and answer session chaired by Padraig Casey, CEO of Ballyhoura Development, who once again acknowledged the community spirit that continues to shine strongly in the area despite restrictions on the physical gathering.

Ballyhoura Development would like to acknowledge the communities, stakeholder agencies, staff and Board members who participated in the Forum and look forward to continuing to work together in these challenging times.

For more details on any of the services or information mentioned above, please contact your local Ballyhoura Development Officer. 

The information provided by speakers on the night can be downloaded from the links below:

Ballyhoura Autumn District Forum | Upcoming Training & Funding updates

Holding AGM's Online

Living & Learning Communities Project