Moving Ahead: Cross-Border Initiative for the Lough MacNean Area
The thoughts and views of the communities in and around both Upper and Lower Lough MacNean are being sought through a new online survey as part of the Border Transition community development initiative.« Back to News
The thoughts and views of the communities in and around both Upper and Lower Lough MacNean are being sought through a new online survey as part of the Border Transition community development initiative.
ICBAN and TASC, the think tank for social change based in Dublin, have recently been working with six communities from both sides of the border in Cavan, Leitrim and Fermanagh, and from both main traditions: Belcoo, Blacklion, Cashel, Glenfarne, Killesher and Kiltyclogher. A public event has already been held with local citizens in Cashel, County Fermanagh in April that brought many contemporary issues to light, and the two organisations are keen to ensure that nobody in the area misses out on the opportunity to contribute on the challenges and issues they face.
Roisin Greaney of TASC explains:
“The event we held in Cashel was fantastic, in that we had representation from all 6 communities in the project and where people were able to freely express some of the challenges and opportunities facing their area. We also met separately with a number of groups, including prisoners at Loughan House, people on community employment schemes and students at the Organic Centre. The results coming back have been intriguing. This online survey is about making sure that we have captured the most complete picture of people’s needs and priorities across all the communities, including as many people as possible, before we move on later in the summer to developing some solutions to the issues raised.”
The team behind the project understand that not everybody has access to the internet so they are asking that family and friends help those without access to fill out the survey.
Caoimhe MacGabhann from TASC adds:
“We invite and encourage the whole community to take part and have their say to make to the Lough MacNean area an even better place for people and the planet. We hope that those who are more digitally connected, and tech savvy, can help family and friends submit their feedback on the survey to engage with as many voices as possible.”
Once the survey has been analysed, and added to the results already collected, TASC and ICBAN will be sharing the findings at a public event scheduled for Thursday 30th June at 7.30pm in the Ardess Centre, Florencecourt, County Fermanagh. The evening will feature artwork by local primary school children who have been invited to create a vision for the future of their area that makes it more welcoming for nature, family and friends. Prizes will be given for the top six entries. Anyone from the Lough MacNean area is welcome to attend.
According to ICBAN Innovation Officer Andy Hallewell:
“This event will showcase the aspirations and concerns of all six communities, and forms the bedrock upon which community-based solutions to the issues can be developed. There will be an opportunity for everyone to come together and begin to address the big questions – if these are the challenges the communities have identified, what can we do, working together, to make changes that will have a positive impact on people’s lives, as well as the local environment?”
ICBAN and TASC are mindful that the small steps taken by Border Transition to date can lead to bigger opportunities further down the line.
“People are understandably wary of yet another ‘talking shop,’ that doesn’t lead to real change”, said Mr. Hallewell. “However, by taking the time and trouble to properly listen to what communities are saying about their area, to record it, understand it and then scope out tangible solutions, we believe that this people’s transition model has the best chance of producing long-term change and benefits for the Lough MacNean area, and indeed other cross-border communities in the future.”
To participate in the survey, register for the event on 30th June or to just find out more about the project, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 028/048 66340710.