Hacketstown Community CORE Officially Opened

It was a momentous day for Hacketstown on Friday 23rd February as its new Community CORE was officially opened. This represents a huge achievement for the members of Hacketstown Community Development Association who are eager and enthusiastic about the CORE.

The CORE building (situated in the old CRISP centre) has recently been donated to the community of Hacketstown by Carlow County Council. Hacketstown Community CORE will be a focal point for educational and recreational courses for the entire community in Hacketstown. The community hub will also act as an information point and drop-in centre as well as a meeting place for all age groups.

Senator Jennifer Murnane O’Connor, Councilors John Pender and Andrea Dalton, alongside representatives from Carlow County Development Partnership CLG, Carlow Volunteer Centre, Carlow PPN (Public Participation Network), St Catherine’s Community Services Centre, KCETB, and many more were present.

Speaking at the opening, CEO of Carlow County Development Partnership Mary Walsh highlighted several streams of funding and services that will be forthcoming through LEADER, SICAP and the Tús scheme, which has already been operational in Hacketstown for the past five years.  Mary also paid particular tribute to the Tús workers who assisted with the refurbishment of the centre and getting the CORE building ready for the opening day.

Chairperson of Hacketstown Community Development Association Mary Doyle was enthusiastic in her vision for the centre, "The Core means 'the centre, the  place to go to'. This is a huge achievement for the members of our Hacketstown Community Group and will act as an information point and drop-in centre as well as a meeting place for all age groups". 

Over the next few months, Carlow County Development Partnership will offer programs such as Online Safety, Nutrition Workshops, Yoga, Mindfulness, Safe Pass, Manual Handling, First Aid, Computer Training and many more.

The CORE will also be central to the Care and Repair scheme, of which there are currently 21 members catering to the home and social needs of the elderly in the Hacketstown area.

Resident Associations and Community Groups morning

It was great to be a part of such a fantastic event as the Resident Associations and Community Groups morning organised by the Community Section of Carlow County Council this morning.  Carlow County Development Partnership had both our Sicap Team and Tús Team represented.  There was a great turn out from the resident associations and community groups.

If you would more information on the Tús Programme Click here or contact us in the office at 059-9720733

Call for Leader Proposals

Leader is looking for Proposals for Projects for the following priority Areas Hacketstown, Rathvilly, Tullow Road, Graiguecullen, and Bagenalstown

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week in conjunction with Age Action.


Across the EU the share of the population aged 65 years and over is increasing in every Member State. In 2016, older persons (aged 65 or over) had a 19.2 % share of the total population (an increase of 0.3 % compared with the previous year and an increase of 2.4 % compared with 10 years earlier). More locally, there were 7675 persons over the age of 65 in Carlow in 2016, thus 15.24% of the population of the county. This means that the county has an age dependency ratio of 19.9%. -  the ratio of people older than 64 to the working-age population -  which is slightly lower than the average for the State (20.19%)

As part of the supports for older Persons in the county, Carlow County Development Partnership was delighted to take part in the Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week recently in conjunction with Age Action. We are now in a position through this collaborative approach and with our Care & Repair Programme to offer  users of the Care & Repair  Service  free Carbon Monoxide Alarms where there is none already in the home.

The Care and Repair Programme is support by the Tus and RSS schemes and is part of Carlow County Development Partnerships commitment to ensuring that older persons in Carlow remain in their own house s and communities for as long as they care to do so.,




For more information on this initiative please contact the Care and Repair Service on 059 97 20733 or the coordinator of the service Niamh Murphy on 086-0418554

Carlow Age Friendly County Strategic Plan 2017 -2022

An Gairdin Beo was beautifully dressed for the arrival of Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly T.D. on 13/09/2017.  The occasion was to officially launch the Carlow Age Friendly County Strategic Plan 2017 – 2022.   Chairperson of the Carlow Older Persons Forum Joe Butler compared the event with fellow speakers Cllr. William Paton, Cathaoirleach Carlow County Council, and Eileen Brophy, Chairperson of Carlow Age Alliance.  The National Positive Ageing Strategy (NPAS) sets out a vision for Ireland, and this vision is one that the Carlow Age Friendly Committee are committed to;-

“ ……a society for all ages that celebrates and prepares properly for individual and population ageing.  It will enable and support all ages and older people to enjoy physical and mental health and wellbeing to their full potential.  It will promote and respect older people’s engagement in economic, social, cultural, community and family life and foster better solidarity between the generations.  It will be a society in which the equality, independence, participation, care, self-fulfilment and dignity of older people are pursued at all times”.

The strategic plan focuses on the areas of

·         Outdoor Spaces & buildings

·         Transport

·         Housing

·         Respect & Social Inclusion

·         Social Participation

·         Communication & Information

·         Civic Partnership

·         Community Support & Health Services

There are a number of short-term, medium-term and long-term goals that are listed under the headings above that the plan will try to achieve.  If you would like to view the strategic plan please see below


Old Leighlin community leading the way in Energy Efficiency


One of the 10 EU priorities for the years 2015 to 2019 focuses on making our use of energy more secure, affordable and sustainable. This includes improving our energy efficiency and reducing emissions through clean energy solutions for buildings and towns. The community of Old Loughlin are a shining example as to how this can be achieved at local level:

On 25th of July 2017 the SECN committee field trip was organised to Old Leighlin Community Hall to examine the operation, effectiveness and benefits of Biomass boiler system installed in the Hall.

A group of local committee members registered with the Sustainable Energy Communities Network (SECN), were offered an extensive guided tour hosted by Alice O’Leary, Ass. Secretary of Old Leighlin Community Hall and Seamus Hayden, Chairperson. The purpose of this visit was to highlight and demonstrate the promotion of heating based on renewable fuels by serving as a good practice case study for any community, or other large buildings. This project has the potential to be replicated for a very large number of existing and new buildings.

Alice and Seamus were extremely helpful when answering various questions with reference to doubts, and uncertainties, with regard to the cost effectiveness, installation, procuring finance, savings on Carbon emission, and the build-up of Carbon credits. For better understanding of the overall benefits of the biomass boiler, members were provided with a detailed breakdown of installation costs as well as running costs.

This is a project looking to the future. It is providing facilities to the community that is aiming towards a fit mind and body through participation, activity and socialising. The efforts, dedication and hard work, is evidence of the success and a fine example of a community building that can be adopted by all community groups within the County.

There was enormous appreciation for the advice, information, and financial support extended by CCDP through LEADER funding. CCDP is committed to realising aspirations and vision of communities throughout the County in whatever projects undertaken by communities.

Sean & Patsy Stapleton thanked the Old Leighlin Community Committee for giving their time “to give us such an informative tour of their fabulous Centre.  It's a credit to the Committee to have such wonderful facilities in a Community.”

Eileen Murphy thanked Carlow County Development Partnership and Marina De Costa for organising the trip to visit Old Leighlin Community Hall to view their Biomass boiler.

"I found it very interesting and learned a lot from the visit.  It is a great credit to the people of Old Leighlin to have such a fine facility. I wish to thank them for their kind hospitality."

Carlow Communities sign up to Sustainable Energy Network


Mary Walsh CEO of CCDP held a second consultation of the Sustainable Energy Community Network (SECN) members on the 26th of June 2017.

The meeting which was held in the Carlow County Development partnership offices in Bagenalstown was attended by representatives of 9 communities from towns and villages in County Carlow.

Thanks to all members who attended and, for being such a participative group. The evening was stimulating, educational, and extremely interesting with everyone sharing their knowledge and expertise, worries and apprehensions.

We are further delighted to make known that, all nine communities have registered with the SECN. The importance of registering signifies that, each community has two essential elements of information:

  • That the community is registered (included on mailing list for further information and updates)
  • Those communities have access to the SEAI expert who will assess individual communities providing specific consultation to individuals and groups of the community.

Members indicated that they would like to visit organisations’ that are at present using Energy Efficiency measures to acquaint them with the different approaches and systems in use. By general consensus, the Old Leighlin Community Hall, and Bagenalstown Swimming pool were the preferred choice for a site visit before embarking on the more elaborate excursion to view the extensive Energy Efficiency upgrade works undertaken by the North Tipperary Community group.

Mary Walsh assured all communities present, that CCDP will give them objective advice and support on the risks, in depth analysis of finance involved and payback.

Furthermore, members discussed relevant concerns and difficulties that would be challenging. For example some of the issues raised were how would it be feasible within small community groups, and more importantly, how does the community group convincingly market such an elaborate model to get buy-in from the community. Administration and project management was also extensively considered, and a centralized coordinator/manager was suggested as a consideration.

There were a range of questions and subjects raised to include:

  • How to start; and the follow on journey
  • Time element and time frame
  • Individual community vs centralized approach
  • Green issues
  • Finance issues – how to raise finance, cash flow concerns
  • Public buildings- SEAI policy on listed buildings
  • Glass in windows of listed buildings
  • Paying back loan using Energy Efficiency Credits/Carbon Credits
  • Could River Barrow be used as a viable option to generate energy
  • Setting up mini district heating systems (Swedish Model)

Members inquired if there was a list of models of best practice available from SEAI. They would also like some specific facts of projects in action. Members also requested training to be made available by SEAI to make the terminology and language used by assessors more understandable (plain& clear).

The meeting – consultation ascertained the enthusiasm expressed by community members. Members felt that the support, advice, guidance, and expertise that was being offered by Mary Walsh and CCDP was invaluable and beneficial. They added, that the meeting answered practical questions which were very helpful. The suggestion that they visit the two local projects was met with great enthusiasm. This exercise would act as a stepping stone for our excursion to the projects carried out in North Tipperary.

Men's Shed

Carlow County Development Partnership's mission centers on the holistic development of individuals and communities throughout the county, and this includes social activities as well as mental health. One significant movement which is contributing in this area throughout the country is the Mens Shed movement. Here is a brief introduction to their work in Carlow:

In every mans shed is a world of wonder.  The treasure chest of tools, parts and screws collected through a lifetime of tinkering.  All the problems of the day can be resolved, all the DIY tools are available and nothing seems impossible.  It’s true to say that a man in his shed can be a tranquil and paradisaical place.  The mugs of tea gather as time disappears into the ether. As the fishing rods get prepared, the bicycles get oiled up, lawnmowers being cleaned, garden sheers being sharpened or the car engine getting dismantled, it is a sanctuary.  Often you might hear the shout after an ill-timed blow from a hammer or the murmurs of a radio in the background being interrupted by noises of saws or screw guns pulsing.  Great projects are being creating, works of wonder imagined and the practicality of modern household problems being repaired and improved.

Now imagine a place where a collective of men can get together in order to share skills, work on individual or group projects and share the comradery of getting the job done.  Restoration projects, community projects, woodworking, painting and the chat.  Carlow is lucky to have a places like these. 

The first Men’s Shed in Carlow was formally established in June 2011 under the Carlow Men’s Health Project (CMHP). The CMHP was a group comprising of St. Catherine's Community Services Centre, Carlow County Development Partnership, Men’s Development Network, RAPID, HSE, Carlow Local Sports Partnership, Waterford IT and Carlow IT that focused on improving men’s health in Co. Carlow.

The CMHP also secured funding to enable the future development of the shed. With these supports in place a co-ordinator for the Carlow Men’s Shed was appointed in June of 2011 for 10 hours/week and the Men’s Shed was officially launched during National Men’s Health Week (13th – 19th June). The Men’s Shed began on Tuesday June 21st, opening one day a week, and has steadily grown to its present status, engaging and supporting men 3 days a week. 

The ethos is a community-based, non-commercial organisation which is open to all men where the primary activity is the provision of a safe, friendly and inclusive environment where the men are able to gather and/or work on meaningful projects at their own pace, in their own time and in the company of other men and where the primary objective is to advance the health and well- being of the participating men.

July 20th 2017 was a proud day for men’s sheds in Ireland, as the Irish Men’s Sheds Association launched its new men’s health website, www.malehealth.ie. The new website offers information, resources and advice from over 40 Irish health organisations. The website’s menu is intuitive and easy to navigate, being based on a graphic of the male anatomy.

Users select their age-range, click on the part of the body they want to find out more about, and are then presented with a menu of health topics (including conditions, ailments and lifestyle issues). They can then select from the menu to be taken directly to the website of the country’s leading authorities on that topic. READ MORE HERE.

Currently in Carlow they meet every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10.30am to 2.00pm in Askea Business Park, O’Brien Road, Carlow.  For more information contact Michael Nicholson 086 157 7487 carlowmensshed@gmail.com  Facebook Page

Carlow Traveller Men's Shed C/O St. Catherines CSC St Josephs Road, Carlow, Co. Carlow  meets on Mondays 9:30-1pm For more information contact  William O’Neill 087 396 2832

In Leighlinbridge the Leighlinbridge Parish Men's Shed meets every Tuesday, Thurday and Friday between 18:00 and 20:00  For more information contact Benny Balfe 087 337 1975 info@leighlinparish.ie or Peter McCarthy 087 923 7562

In Bagenalstown the  Bagenalstown Men’s Shed is located at Moneybeg, Royal Oak Road, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow. For more information contact Josie Tierney on 086 666 5748
bagenalstown@menssheds.ie Facebook Page

Tullow Men's Shed Flynn’s Old Garage, Church Street, Tullow, Co. Carlow Monday 10 -1 and Thursday 7-9. For more information contact Frank Morris 087 630 4393 tullow@menssheds.ie or Andrew Dreelan andrewdreelan@gmail.com Facebook Page


Community Development in Bagenalstown: Energy and enthusiasm in a community garden

We at Carlow County Development Partnership are always excited to meet with communities and groups who are working to bring about positive change in their areas. So we are delighted to be associated with the Community Garden at Gleann na Bearu in Bagenalstown.  Over the past few months this group has been meeting  on Wednesday mornings,  working hard, planting seeds and creating a unique greenhouse made out of recycled plastic bottles.

You can follow their progress here:  https://www.facebook.com/CarlowCountyDevelopmentPartnership/posts/1241385285946902

Community Gardens like this one are all about being together, and can have very positive social, economic wellbeing  and environmental impacts on communities. Participants connected with the gardens normally have a better appreciation of their community and get great satisfaction from the work done outdoors.

Carlow County Development Partnership are working in a number of horticulture projects like this, as well as with the Gairdin Beo in Carlow town.

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 phughes@carlowdevelopment.ie

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.