FREE home energy trainings start this week!

FREE home energy trainings start this week!

Our free Home Energy Saving Course is continuing this January after a short break. This LEADER funded initiative is helping householders to understand their home energy use and offer tips to reduce consumption and be more energy efficient – very timely as we all struggle with rising bills at this time of year.

The online training sessions, will recommence this Wednesday 17th January for five weeks and run from 7.30 to 9pm. All are welcome, to attend one or all of the sessions!

Visit to register and for further details.

Over the remaining five weeks we will be looking at how we can use simple devices to monitor and manage our energy use. We will also be discussing our choices and behaviours around our transport energy and how working together as communities can lead to innovative renewable energy projects. It is a great chance to network with others and learn from each other.

Once registered, you will be able to access previous sessions on no and low cost measures to saving energy, understanding energy bills, insulation, household BER’s and Solar PV.

The course is facilitated by AstonECO on behalf of CLDC.

Securing Socio-Economic Rights and a Just Transition in Clare – You’re invited, Monday Nov 6th!

Securing Socio-Economic Rights and a Just Transition in Clare – You’re invited, Monday Nov 6th!

Communities in Clare at risk of an unjust transition, report finds. "We can’t rely on people’s goodwill one more time, what we need are resources." [Participant quote]

A first of its kind research project conducted in Clare which examined the effects on Clare communities of the transition to net zero carbon emissions has found that there is a risk of ‘an unfair transition in the county’ unless significant measures are taken to address this. The report: ‘Fair Clare: Securing Socio-Economic Rights and a Just Transition in Clare’ is jointly authored by Kieran Harrahill and Roisin Greaney both from TASC – Think Tank for Action on Social Change, who conducted a series of workshops with a wide range of communities in the county over the course of summer 2023

The report will be launched at a free event on Monday November the 6th at 7 pm in the Templegate Hotel, Ennis. Tickets must be booked in advance at this link:

..or by calling Clare PPN on 087-1617375 during office hours.

The report can be read in full HERE and the beautiful artist-designed print copies will be available on the night for those attending the launch.

Padraic Hayes, a Shannon based steering committee member for this project said:

“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. 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.”

Groups who participated in the lively discussion sessions for the project included those perceived to be at risk from climate action: low-income farmers, and other people on low incomes in rural areas including single parents, older people, people with disabilities, carers and others. Dedicated workshops were held with men from the Traveller community and with people who have come here seeking protection as a result of the war in Ukraine and with people living within the international protection system in Clare. The workshops were held in a range of Clare towns – Kilrush, Ennistymon, Shannon, Scariff, Ennis and Killaloe with everything from turf to tourism coming under scrutiny.

Sarah Clancy part of the Clare PPN team who oversaw the collaborative project observed:

‘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. 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’.

The strikingly-designed report builds onwards from Clare PPN’s previous work which examined poverty in Clare, and also makes for stark reading. Communities ranked housing and health as their key and urgent concerns alongside cost-of-living issues and with many expressing their worries about the care available for themselves, family members and others. This report doesn’t stop there however – it makes 27 recommendations for local and national policy makers on how some of these issues can be addressed in ways that tackle both climate action and poverty reduction at the same time.

Suggestions include developing an innovative a social enterprise incubator, that the Local Authority itself should adopt ‘community wealth building’ as its approach, that the national retrofit schemes no-cost plans should be extended to low and middle income households, that existing farm supports should be tailored to local needs and landscapes and it calls for the establishment of local information and help centres, community development projects and a suggests that a trades school should be established in an area of deprivation in Clare.

The project was commissioned by four local organisations working together: Clare County Council, Clare Local Development Company, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board and Clare Public Participation Network and was funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development under the Dormant Accounts Fund and many of its findings have been fed into Clare’s draft Local Economic and Community Plan.

For more information or comments, please contact:
Sarah Clancy / 086 384 0973 /

What is a Social Enterprise??

What is a Social Enterprise??

Although there are many definitions, the bottom line is…A social enterprise is an enterprise [or business] whose objective is to achieve a social, societal or environmental impact, rather that maximising profits for its owners or stakeholders.  

Social enterprises in Clare work in many sectors: Improving the environment, strengthening community supports, supporting employment opportunities locally and regionally and working for the overall betterment of society.

CLDC, over the past 30 years, has supported the establishment and development of Social Enterprises across a range of sectors including tourism, community services, childcare organisations, and climate action.

In January 2023, CLDC launched the Clare Social Enterprise Network.  The primary aim of the network is to give Social Enterprises in Clare a platform to interact with other like-minded people, to ask questions, share ideas, experiences & learnings, and to identify opportunities for working together and for wider collaboration.

We had a range of events throughout 2023 to offer networking opportunities and soft support in the common issues facing Social Enterprises, including:

  • Fundraising / revenue generation.
  • Business planning
  • Strategy Planning and Sustainability
  • Communication and Marketing
  • Legal & HR – recruitment & management

Social Enterprise Training Programme

Right now, in our Social Enterprise Network, we are really excited to have Evelyn Cormican delivering a bespoke training programme to assist Social Enterprises with day-to-day operations and future planning. The training is being delivered through a combination of in person and online training and small group mentoring sessions. The overall aim of the training is to provide support and direction to social enterprises to take their business to the next level.

On completion of the training programme participants will be given an opportunity to take part in a showcase event (Spring 2024) with local businesses and corporates. This event is an opportunity for social enterprises to pitch their businesses to companies that have a corporate social responsibility policy.

If you are a social enterprise or thinking of becoming a social enterprise and you are not on our database, we would love to hear from you!

Please email Aisling [] for further information and to be part of our dynamic network.

Irish Local Development Network (ILDN) Social Enterprise Impact Award

ILDN have launched their Social Enterprise IMPACT award, which is a competition focused on impact and impact measurement. The Awards will have three categories – medium/large social enterprise, small social enterprise, and ‘young’ social enterprise – with winners in each category receiving an award of €10,000, and runners up receiving €5,000. The prize money can be used towards any costs associated with running the social enterprise. For further information and a copy of the application form click here.

Closing date Sunday 10th December 2023.

CEO Doirin Graham speaks about where it all started, and where we are now

CEO Doirin Graham speaks about where it all started, and where we are now

Doirin has been our CEO for as long as CLDC has been CLDC! She was on the radio this week with Dermot Hayes of RadioBeams. Tune in (Click the radio image) to hear her talk about her own beginnings in this work, the evolution of CLDC, the challenges of bureaucracy, and the importance of being out on the ground and community-led.

Impacts from LEADER program 2016-2023

Impacts from LEADER program 2016-2023

CLDC rolled out a very successful LEADER program from 2016 – 2023. Have a look at the impact, in numbers!

LEADER is an EU wide rural development programme supporting the growth and development of rural communities and businesses, and protecting the rural environment.

Funded by the EU and the Irish Government, LEADER provides funding, training, guidance to community groups and supports for rural business.

Find out more about LEADER here

April 2023 – Public Consultations throughout Clare for new LEADER plan!

April 2023 – Public Consultations throughout Clare for new LEADER plan!

Clare Local Development Company (CLDC) is inviting people from local communities to have their say and help shape the new LEADER plan for Co. Clare, and to discuss how other CLDC programmes can address community needs in the county. A series of public meetings will be held in eight locations around the county in April. CLDC is encouraging anyone with views and ideas to come along, get involved in the discussion, and have their voice heard. The new LEADER programme will open for business late in 2023 after a LEADER Plan has been agreed for the county.

CLDC Chairman, Mike Hogan, wants to hear from people on the ground. “These are the people who can tell us what they need from LEADER and the other supports that CLDC has to offer to local communities,” he said. CLDC has delivered LEADER for 31 years in Clare, and also delivers the social inclusion programme SICAP, the Rural Social Scheme, Tús, Rural Walks Scheme, Ukrainian Response, Roma and Traveller projects, community childcare, Local Area Employment Service, and other supports.

“These public meetings with CLDC staff and Board members are a great opportunity to influence the shape of LEADER and CLDC for the next five years,” added Mike Hogan. “With a smaller LEADER budget and growing demand from communities, we need to decide how LEADER and CLDC can be most effective at supporting communities and the rural economy through very challenging times.”



The public consultation meetings will take place from 7 – 8.30 p.m. in the following locations: Kilfenora April 4th, Miltown Malbay April 5th, Clarecastle April 18th, Kilkee April 19th, Corofin April 20th, Sixmilebridge April 25th, Labasheeda April 26th , and Tulla April 27th. An online consultation event will take place on May 3rd.

Email for more information.

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