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Sarah Clancy of CPPN. Photograph by John Kelly

Clare faces an unjust transition, finds ground-breaking Clare PPN report

A unique piece of research carried out by Clare Public Participation Network (Clare PPN) has found that, unless drastic changes are made, some Clare people will be forced to carry a disproportionate amount of the burden of moving to a low emissions society.
The report, which will be officially unveiled this coming Monday, is the product of six months of research, public workshops and interviews with local stakeholders across the county.
Entitled ‘Fair Clare: Securing Socio-Economic Rights and a Just Transition in Clare’ – the report was jointly authored by Kieran Harrahill and Roisin Greaney of TASC, the Think Tank for Action on Social Change.
The report makes 27 specific recommendations for local and national policy makers on how issues can be addressed in ways that tackle both climate action and poverty reduction at the same time.
Suggestions include developing a social enterprise incubator in Clare, that the national retrofit schemes no-cost plans should be extended to low and middle income households and that existing farm supports should be tailored to local needs and landscapes.
The core findings of this project have been submitted to the Draft Local Economic and Community Plan 2023-2029 (LECP).
According to Sarah Clancy of Clare PPN, the report should inform policy makers, as well as the decisions that Clare people make at the ballot box in the upcoming local, European and general elections.
“We don’t want this report to sit on a shelf, it contains real issues and real proposals to solve them gathered from ordinary people some of whom are living in very difficult circumstances around the county,” she said.
“We are launching it now in advance of three forthcoming election cycles, the local and EU elections in 2024, and the General Election which is on the horizon, and we want to make its recommendations part of every existing and would-be politicians policy platform whatever party they are with.”
Workshops for the report were held in Kilrush, Ennistymon, Shannon, Scariff, Ennis and Killaloe across the summer of 2023.
“We’re really proud of this work and the fact that it has been developed directly by groups of people who are affected by poverty and discrimination in our communities,” said Padraic Hayes, a member of the steering committee based in Shannon.
“One of the main things we’ve learned is that, if we can improve the services needed by those of us who are worst off, that actually everyone will benefit.’
The project was led by Clare PPN in collaboration with Clare County Council, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, and Clare Local Development Company and was funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development from the Dormant Accounts Fund.
The report will be launched at a free event on Monday, November 6, from 7pm in the Templegate Hotel in Ennis. Tickets for the launch are free but must be booked in advance at https://bit.ly/3FvX7B4 or by calling Clare PPN on 087-1617375 during office hours.

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