Rural Development: Renovating Tinnahinch Lock House for Community Use


In recent weeks Carlow County Development Partnership has been exploring potential uses of the Upper Lock House in Tinnahinch. A successful meeting was held on Tuesday the 21th February in the boat house rowing club in Graiguenamanagh. The meeting was advertised locally with flyers in local shops and centres, in parish newsletters, by email, phone and by word of mouth,  and this meant that there was a good turnout from local residents, local businesses and interested parties. The Lock House, which is right beside the River Barrow, has a ruin of a castle behind it. It was used for residential purposes up until to now, but since it has not been used in a few years, and has fallen into some disrepair,  with mould and damp.  Waterways Ireland owns the building and would like to see it back in use.

CCDP CEO Mary Walsh chaired the meeting, and gave a presentation on the topic. Rosanna Nolan from Waterways Ireland gave in depth outline of the building, using slides to illustrate how the building looked like in the past and today.

The vision for the Lock House is for a community group to use it for activity that would benefit and enhance the area. There could be funding from the LEADER programme to develop the building and site. The building could also be used by other local businesses if they had a demand for a product or service that would again benefit the community and area.

If anyone would like further information or has any questions they can contact Paula Hughes on 086 0439172 or by e mail

If your community has an idea for the development of a derelict building or community facility please get in touch. We can assist by working with the local community and exploring potential funding from the LEADER programme.




Community Development: Volunteer's Voicebox event


On Thursday, 30th March, at 7.30pm in the VISUAL theater Carlow,  a VOLUNTEER'S VOICEBOX will be held which will allow volunteers speak about the organizations to which they give their time and energy. The event is about building up the Carlow community by showing people's passions and the ways in which these passions fuel the community. It is part of the Join In Festival which runs until April 2nd.

Volunteers are the backbone of most community projects and a number of groups that are supported by Carlow County Development Partnership are taking part. These include the Older Person's Forum, as well as Carlow Mental Health Association, An Gairdín Beo, the Volunteer Center, the PPN and the Leinster Latvian Society. The Tidy Town movement will also be represented, which the Carlow County Development Partnership's Tús scheme significantly supports around the county.

Feel free to drop in as it promises to be an inspiring and fun night, and one which promotes working together for the good of the wider community

Workshop on Sustainable Energy for communities


A Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) is a community in which everyone works together to develop a sustainable-energy system. To do so, they aim as far as possible to be energy-efficient, to use renewable energy and to develop decentralized energy supplies. A Sustainable Energy Community can include all the different energy users in the community including homes, sports clubs, community centres, churches and businesses.

Carlow County Development Partnership CLG is holding an INFORMATION WORKSHOP  on this important topic on Monday April 3rd at 7 pm in the Lord Bagenal Hotel, Leighlinbridge. 28 different communities around the country are exploring this way of using energy and this workshop will provide information on what it entails to allow you see the benefits for the community and the environment.

All are welcome.

Community Development: Building a Cob Oven in An Gairdin Beo



An Gáirdin Beo, is being developed as a Living Community Garden by an incredibly dedicated group of volunteers.  Since Autumn 2014 when the Sisters of Mercy from St Leo's Convent made the land available,  huge work has been done to gradually transform the space into a haven of natural peace in the center of town. The SICAP team have assisted this work of transformation, and have supported some events which took place there, most notably the Celebration of Cultures.

In the past few weeks a number of groups have come together to construct a cob oven, which will be used for community events in the Garden. Participants from the La Nua Special CE Scheme along with students from the Carlow College Citizenship and Community Programme started the planning work for the oven which will be a lovely addition to the garden and a focal point for community gatherings. Led by tutor and An Gairdin Beo group member Eilish Langton (NCAD) the group got a off to a great start and aim to have the project completed before summer.

This is a lovely example of a collaborative work between a special CE scheme, a Community Group and an educational institution and brings benefits to all groups. Persons in recovery are one group which are furthest away from the Labour Market and thus require the further support which the SICAP programme is set up for.  We will keep you updated as the work progresses.

If you are a group who has a similar idea which would benefit or enhance your community, please get in touch with us through the Contact page.

Education and Training: Advocacy Programme for Traveller Women

Goal 2 of the SICAP Programme is to provide education and training “support to individuals and marginalised target groups experiencing educational disadvantage so they can participate fully, engage with and progress through life-long learning opportunities through the use of community development approaches”. As part of Carlow County Development Partnership’s commitment to achieving this goal, an Advocacy Programme for Travellers was run in conjunction with St Catherine’s Community Services Center and Carlow College.  A group of nine women from St. Catherine’s Traveller’s Programmes participated in the programme and they proudly received their certificates at the International Women’s Day event in Carlow College on March 8th.

The Traveller Community is one of the target groups of the SICAP programme and traditionally have not progressed onto education programmes in Third Level institutions.  This Programme provided valuable skills to allow participants assert their rights and integrate more fully into the wider Carlow community.

Please contact Dylan Thomas for further information on training opportunities.


Community Development: Rathvilly Community Development Group AGM

The Rathvilly Community Development Group held a very successful AGM on Wednesday evening March 15th in the Phoenix Centre. It was attended by Pat Deering TD and supported by SICAP Development Worker Joanne Donohoe, and saw some new faces and the election of officers for the coming year. Joanne has worked closely with the group for 2 years now and supported the development of its structures,  as well as the collective action which the group has taken.  The results of the Needs Analysis which was carried out last year was presented,  with some key areas highlighted as priority areas for the work of the group in medium and long term.

The SICAP Programme provides support and training to geographical based groups and to groups meeting around particular themes. This support can include advice in how to form a group and what are the procedures needed to set up a committee. If your group could benefit from such support, please contact Joanne. Her details can be found in the Our Team section of the website.

Bagenalstown Area

Labour Market Activation: Tús work benefiting the Community: Queen of the Universe National School, Bagenalstown

One of the positive aspects of the Tús Programme is the fact that it benefits both the participant and the community where the participant is placed.  The participant gains valuable work experience and skills as well as a supportive structure on the path to full-time employment. The sponsoring body and wider community benefits from the work done by the Tús worker and by their contribution to the service provided by the body.

A very good example of this can be seen in the work done in the Queen of the Universe National School, Bagenalstown. As part of the Tidy Towns assessment of the town, it was felt that the area in which the school was located needed to be “softened”  through the addition of flowers and trees. The school was identified as an ideal way to do this, thus benefiting both the school and the wider community.

As the photographs show, the outside area has been transformed through the skills of the Tús workers, under the guidance and support of their Supervisor, Fergal. New planting areas were designed and laid down, raised beds installed, vegetables planted and even an insect hotel was built. The area was transformed into a much brighter and creative space, providing valuable ecological learning opportunities as befits a school setting. A huge congratulations to all involved.

If you wish to find out more about Tús or see how you can become a Tús participant, check out the “Programmes” part of the website.

Greater participation in the Community: Age Friendly Parking

The Carlow Older Persons Forum has been in existence now for nearly 2 years and is working to ensure that the voice of older persons be heard. One initiative they piloted was the reservation of parking spaces for older persons close to services, and these were rolled out at a number of locations around Carlow Town, including beside Town Hall and outside SuperValu. This initiative was the first of its kind in Ireland. In the last week this was extended to a new space outside the Bank of Ireland at Shamrock Plaza. Bank of Ireland are working closely with the Older Persons Forum to ensure that all its services are Age Friendly and this parking initiative represents another step forward in responding to the needs of older members of the community. CCDP supports the work of the Older Persons Forum through its SICAP Programme.

Carlow County Development Partnership responds to the needs of Older Persons in a number of ways, including through the running of the Care and Repair service. This Programme was initially established by Age Action to carry out minor repairs for older and vulnerable people free of charge  and to provide a befriending service. In Carlow CCDP provide this service to over 250 older persons throughout the county, enabling enable older people to remain in their own homes, in their own communities, living as independently as possible, through the improvement of their housing conditions and their level of comfort, security and well-being.

If you are interested in receiving a visit from the Care and Repair team get in touch with us. Details are on the Contact page.

Labour Market Activation: New Jobs Club Programme starts

A new  Jobs Club Group Programme with 9 participants started this morning in the Jobs Club Premises at 9 The Royal Mews,  Dublin St.,  Carlow. The 3 week programme is designed to prepare participants for success in job interviews, and does this by covering areas such as telling the life story, identifying your strengths, how to successfully apply for a job, CV preparation and interview practice. Previous participants have found the programme to be of huge benefit in sharpening their skills in preparation for interviews or in raising motivation and confidence following a period of inactivity. The Jobs Club is funded by the Department of Social Protection.

If you are a job-seeker and would like to take part on the Programme, talk to your Intreo Case Worker who will nominate you onto the Course.