Following these launches we will be organising a series of workshops aimed at having some of the issues raised in the research addressed in local and national policies and we will issue invitations to these events as they are scheduled.
We will be making copies of the report available online and in print from September 15th onwards so please email us if you would like to receive a copy.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like any further information about this project. We have included the press release for the September 20th Dublin Launch below.
Clare PPN Coordinator
Clonroad Business Park
PH: 087 1617375
Clare PPN staff work flexible schedules with frequent evening work so if you receive this email at a time outside your working hours please do not feel any pressure to respond to it until a time that suits your schedule
National policy is making rural poverty worse, suggests landmark study of Co Clare
Report of pilot research project into rural poverty to be launched at Buswells Hotel, Dublin at 5pm on 20th September
‘There are no services, just tablets. You see the doctor and they just put you on antidepressants’ – research participant
Poverty in rural Ireland is likely to be made worse by national policy, including the National Development Plan, according to the author of a landmark new study of poverty and social exclusion in Co Clare. The report, ‘Towards an Anti-Poverty Strategy for Clare’, by economist and researcher Dr Conor McCabe, also found there is a chronic lack of county-level data or research on poverty and marginalisation in Clare.
The study, described as “a pilot study for anti-poverty research in rural Ireland”, will be launched at Buswells Hotel in Dublin on Tuesday 20th September at 5pm by Sinead Gibney, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC).
“We are launching this landmark report in Dublin because its findings have profound implications for national policy-makers. We want to take it to the centre of power,” said Mary O’Donoghue of West Clare Family Resource Centre. “As one person involved in the project commented: ‘Clare is not Alaska – we’re an hour from two major cities and three hours from the capital, with a growing population. There is no reason services and infrastructure can’t or shouldn’t be provided here.’ ”
The nine-month participatory research project, the first county-level project of its kind in Ireland, was undertaken by groups led by those who experience poverty and social exclusion in Clare. Under the umbrella of Clare Public Participation Network (PPN) they secured funding from IHREC’s Human Rights and Equality Grants Fund. With the guidance of Dr McCabe, they used their own lived experience and perspectives to analyse poverty in Clare and the policy context in which it happens.
The launch event will hear from Dr McCabe, the project’s lead researcher, as well as from disability and Traveller activists from Clare. Clare TDs and Senators and party spokespeople on social inclusion, rural development, community development and just transition are invited.
Bridgie Casey, Co-ordinator of Clare Traveller Community Development Project, expressed her shock at the report’s findings that Clare has a housing vacancy rate of over 17%. “We have families in Clare living in overcrowded conditions, children growing up in hotel rooms, or without running water, and to learn that there are more than 10,000 houses lying idle around Clare at the same time really tells us the system is not working for the people of Clare.”
Sarah Clancy, Co-ordinator of Clare PPN, noted:
“With the focus now on regional development the specifics of local situations find little reflection in policy. Strategies that tell us that the Mid-west is doing well don’t reflect the situation in our small towns and rural communities.’’
Mary O’Donoghue continued:
“We don’t want to be running food banks, we want solutions and a fair chance for all the people in our communities. Our organisations can advocate for social welfare increases and we can do our best to plaster over the cracks but this won’t compensate for a lack of equal access to health services, transport, housing, childcare or sustainable employment. The report shows us that even to be on a par with the national average we need 50% more dentists and 33% more GPs in Clare.”
The research findings in this report are not available anywhere else and will be invaluable to public representatives and policymakers in Clare and elsewhere in rural Ireland. This is the first report to make use of the most recent CSO figures from the 2022 Census.
For more information or comments, please contact:
Sarah Clancy 086 384 0973 / firstname.lastname@example.org