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.

Visit of Lithuanian Ambassador to Carlow

Carlow County Development Partnership were delighted to be part of the Carlow delegation which welcomed the visit of the Lithuanian Ambassador Egidijus Meilūnas to the county yesterday, February 21st. He was accompanied by Dr. Giedrius Janauskas Vice Dean in the Humanities Department at the University of Kaunas. The visit acknowledged the positive contribution made by the Lithuanian community in the county and explored possible areas of co-operation in the future, including schools and cultural projects. The Carlow delegation consisted of the Cathaoirleach of the Council, William Paton, Kathleen Holohan,  Chief Executive Carlow County Council, John Brophy, the Chair of Carlow LCDC, the Chief Officer Michael Brennan , John Shorthall,  County Librarian, Fr Conn Ó Maoldhomhnaigh, President of Carlow College, Helen Maher,  Programme Board Chair: Citizenship and Community Studies, Carlow College and Karl Duffy,  Social Inclusion Manager of Carlow County Development Partnership,

We have supported the Lithuanian community over the past few years in capacity building events around maintaining their own culture,  and through funding towards the Lithuanian preschool premises and also through our support in the SICAP Programme for the Carlow Integration Forum and its events. The chairperson of the Forum is a Lithuanian National, Sandra Kazlauskaite, who has been involved in numerous programme with us over the years, included the holistic Body Mind and Soul Programme as well as in her role as co-ordinator of Failte Isteach – a community based volunteer language and welcome programme which we also fund.

We wish to continue and develop this support for the community going forward beyond or support for the pre-school,  and this support will begin with two small school-based projects over the next few months.

Firstly, to celebrate the important year of the centenary of regaining Lithuanian statehood in 1918, we are going to organize and sponsor a prize in one of the schools in Carlow town for the best project by a child which focuses on Lithuanian history or culture. We will aim this at children aged around 10, and hope that the Ambassador himself, or someone from the Embassy staff will help us to select the winner.

Secondly, we are going to link a class from a Carlow National School  – over the internet – with a school in Lithuania, maybe to develop a common project on the different cultures.  Once again the Ambassador agreed to help us identify an appropriate school in Lithuania.

The meeting also discussed the psychological challenges around young people developing their identity between two cultures and explored possible research ideas between the University in Lithuania and Carlow College.

Overall, a very positive exchange of ideas and energy.

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

SICAP Programme - Integration and diversity: Winter Festival

The Carlow County Development Partnership SICAP Programme was delighted to support the 'Winter Festival', hosted by Carlow Integration Forum on December 2nd in An Gairdin Beo.


This event was a great success with wonderful food from around the world, music, and entertainment. More than 130 children visited Santa and had lots of time to chat with him and get a small gift. A grotto was created in the garden, marshmallows were toasted and Christmas wreaths were made. There were lots of activities for the little ones and indeed for everyone. All activities, Santa visits, and the food was free to all who attended. Santa arrived in a spectacular Pink Cadillac, The garden twinkled with fairy lights and it was a magical afternoon. Special thanks to Clonmore Meats for providing the wonderful car for Santa and letting the reindeer have a rest for the big night! Special tanks to Santa for his early arrival and continued updates on his progress to Carlow. Special thanks to Kevin Kelly for the festive refreshments. Thanks to everyone who worked so incredibly hard to make this event such a success

In current Irish policy, integration is defined as the ‘ability to participate to the extent that a person needs and wishes in all of the major components of society without having to relinquish his or her own cultural identity’, thus highlighting the needs for events that allows migrants express their identity through culture, food and music.

The 2017 Migrant Integration Strategy reminds us that "successful integration is the responsibility of Irish society as a whole and will require action by Government, public bodies, service providers,businesses,NGOs but also by local communities". This event showcased the collaboration that this possible between a Local Community group (An Gairdin Beo) and the Integration Forum which supports new communities, supported by the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme. The focus of the event was to allow recent migrants to the county interact with the host community and participate in a cultural event, highlighting in this case their their own traditions and food.
The success of the event built on the excellent work being done by the Failte Isteach Programme which creates the connections and energy between the individuals who then came forward to support the Integration Forum. The warm atmosphere in the Garden was built upon the friendly informal engagement which is the characteristic of the Failte Isteach Programme.



Community Development: Rathvilly Development Association


Carlow County Development Partnership is a support structure for anyone who wants to strengthen their community, and is delighted to work with groups around the county who are actively engaged in making their town or village a better place to live. One of these groups is the Rathvilly Community Development Group who have been supported by Joanne Donohoe, the SICAP Development Worker over the last number of years. At their AGM at the start of the year a number of sub-groups were set up, one of which focused on organizing social events for the area. Recently, this group organized a Tea Dance for the Over 55's "Active Seniors" in the town which was enjoyed by all and was just one activity to reduce isolation and respond to the needs of older members of the community.

Older people are assuming a greater importance throughout the whole European Union as both their numbers and their proportion of the population increase due to the ageing of the population. As of 2013, 18% of Europeans are aged 65 or more (more than 92 million individuals ) but this is predicted to rise to 30 % by 2060.

SICAP supporting community development: Tullow Road Rethink your Space meeting

County Carlow Development Partnership SICAP Programme was delighted to be part of the recent consultation with residents of the Tullow Rd to "Rethink your Space". 25 people attended. If you want to still contribute and couldn't make the meeting you can email the designcore@itcarlow.ie with your ideas.

SICAP work with older persons: Security for Older Persons

Carlow County Development Partnership was delighted to attend the recent meeting promoting safety and security for older persons (and indeed everyone) as part of Positive Aging Week. The meeting was hosted by Carlow Bank of Ireland and delivered by Carlow Gardai.

Older persons face a number of challenges, particularly those living in rural parts of the county. Research nationwide has found that older persons in rural areas can suffer a double type of exclusion, the first caused by increasing age, the second by social exclusion and difficulty in accessing services. There are a number of aspects which combine to increase this sense of exclusion, including social connections and social resources, access to health and social care, and general services and infrastructure, access to private transport and public rural transport schemes, income and financial resources, and feeling safe and secure in one’s home. (Walsh et al., Social Exclusion and Ageing in Diverse Rural Communities, 2012). The SICAP Programme is respo9nding to social inclusion needs in the county and older persons are one of the groups responded to .

This meeting was significant in the way it addressed the last element in this list, providing the most up to date statistics on Carlow and showing the work being done to ensure that burglaries are on the decline and people are more safe in their homes and in their communities.

If anyone has any queries or concerns please do not hesitate to contact the local Gardai who are more than happy to help.

You can also contact Carlow County Development Partnership CLG at 059 9720733

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 Older Persons Forum supporting community engagement work by Carlow and Kilkenny Gardaí



Carlow County Development Partnership are delighted to support and highlight the very important community engagement work being done by Carlow and Kilkenny Gardaí in partnership with the Carlow Older Persons Forum.

On Thursday Gardaí were out and about in Graiguecullen, introducing themselves to the local community and reassuring older persons and the community in general that they are here and willing to help in any way that they can.

Accompanying them was Joe Butler, Chairperson of Carlow Older Persons Forum and Board Director of Carlow County Development Partnership to demonstrate the importance of older persons in the community and to ensure that their voice is heard by services and showing that they appreciate being able to contribute to the communities in which they live.