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 leader@CLDC.ie for more information.

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FREE Clare Invasive Species Biodiversity Training!

FREE Clare Invasive Species Biodiversity Training!

Clare Local Development Company (CLDC) is now taking applications for a 3-month LEADER funded training to help people living in County Clare to understand the devastating impact of invasive species in gardens, green spaces, and countryside around them, and to learn how to stop new introductions, control the dispersal of those already established, and network with other like-minded people.

The training is free of charge. No prior knowledge is required and there are no criteria for participation, other than motivation and interest.

The training will consist of 8 weekly webinars, starting on Wednesday 8th March 2023, combined with classroom and field-based practical work. The training will be centred around Ennis, Kilrush, Lisdoonvarna, Scarriff, and Shannon but all communities and individuals are welcome.


‘Taking action against invasive species is one of the most important steps we can take to slow the pace of climate change and biodiversity loss’, says Dr Fran Giaquinto who will lead the training. ‘Our aim is to help you understand the connection between biodiversity, invasive species, and climate, and we will do this in a practical, lively, and informal way.’

You will have the benefits of some of the best specialists in Ireland. Linda Gilsenan is an experienced organic gardener and pollinator-friendly landscaper, and she will teach you about the invasive species that may be lurking in your gardens. Phoebe O’Brien is a nationally respected botanist who will help you identify some of the most common invasive species and explain how to spot a plant that has become invasive. Nicholas Head is an invasive species contractor who has spent the last 12 years developing systematic methods of prevention and control that do not involve the use of herbicide.

“We want this training programme to succeed at a very high level and provide a blueprint for community-led habitat protection into the future. Our vision is to equip all participants with the confidence, knowledge, and tools to identify invasive species, stop their arrival, prevent their dispersal when they do arrive, and protect our precious Clare landscapes’, says Fran Giaquinto. By the end of the training you will be champions in your community, with the confidence and knowledge to raise awareness and help others. Unless absolutely necessary, we do not encourage the use of herbicide.

CLDC LEADER Development Officer, Gerry McDonagh has urged groups and individuals with an interest in conserving the biodiversity of their locality to apply for a place on the course. ‘The programme will deliver on the biodiversity objective of our Local Development Strategy to deliver training for community groups and individuals that stimulates actions to protect and enhance vulnerable species and habitats’, said Mr. McDonagh.

More than 70 participants can join the training. Let’s make 2023 the year when we systematically and collaboratively set out on the journey of ridding our beautiful county of invasive species.

Participants will need access to internet and a smart phone or laptop. The trainers will assist with set up and use of the online Zoom software.

Further information and an application form can be obtained by emailing biodiversityleader@gmail.com

Brochure can be downloaded here:  CLDC Invasive Training Brochure.

Better Together

Better Together

Clare Local Development Company (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.

A social enterprise has many definitions, but the unifying goal is the promotion of social or environmental welfare rather than making or maximizing profits. 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.

The next step in CLDC’s ongoing support to Social Enterprise is to facilitate the development of a local network to compliment the national networks such as the Irish Social Network & Social Enterprise Republic of Ireland.

On Tuesday the 17th of January CLDC launched the Clare Social Enterprise Network. Twenty social enterprises came together in Ennis. The group had an opportunity to network, knowledge share and hear from the following speakers:

Agnes O’Shaughnessy, LEADER Co-ordinator, Clare Local Development Company, Michelle Guthrie, Senior Enterprise Development Officer, Local Enterprise Office Clare, and Pauline Gannon: Co-founder and director of Social Impact Ireland.

In her presentation Agnes gave an overview of the results of a needs analysis survey completed by Social Enterprises. She highlighted that the network was a space for Social Enterprise to have a  shared voice. Michelle identified several supports available to Social Enterprises and encouraged participants to connect with Local Enterprise Office Clare. Pauline inspired the audience with her presentation on the Social Enterprise journey reminding social enterprises ‘Social Impact is the only future … be the change you want to see in the Impact space!’

CLDC have planned a calendar of future 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

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.

If you would like to be added to our database to be included in the invites for the 2023 events, please contact Aisling de Klerk at adeklerk@cldc.ie

Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys announces details of new €180 million LEADER Programme

Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys announces details of new €180 million LEADER Programme

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced the details of the €180 million LEADER Programme for 2023-2027.

The major investment will support thousands of locally-led rural development and enterprise projects over the next five years. This allocation is in addition to the €70m already provided for LEADER for 2021 and 2022, bringing the total allocation for the seven year LEADER programming period of 2021-2027 to €250 million.

Minister Humphreys published the 2023-2027 funding allocation for each county.

The selection process will be conducted over two stages; the first stage is an ‘Expression of Interest’ by eligible groups followed by a more detailed stage which will see them develop their LEADER strategies.

The first stage of the process was opened by Minister Humphrey

Making the announcement, Minister Humphreys said:

“The LEADER Programme has been integral to delivering locally-led projects that have brought major benefits to communities across Rural Ireland.  LEADER operates on a ground-up approach and is all about empowering local communities to deliver projects that will revitalise our towns and villages.  Today, I’m pleased to set out the process for selecting groups to deliver the new LEADER programme.  The process will be open, transparent and competitive and I am encouraging groups in the private and public sector to work together to achieve the best possible results.

The Minister announced that interested parties will have until Friday 16th December 2022 to submit their Expression of Interest (Stage 1).

All groups that are successful in Stage 1 will be provided with funding to assist with the costs associated with developing a Local Development Strategy in Stage 2 of the process.

A fund of €2 million has been ring-fenced for this purpose which will commence in early 2023.

Minister Humphreys acknowledged the tremendous work of the Local Action Groups that have successfully delivered the current LEADER programme, stating:

“It is now important that the key public and private stakeholders in communities across Ireland come together in partnership to deliver a LEADER programme that will build on the fantastic success of the programme over the last 30 years. By working together, we will ensure that LEADER continues to play a central role in supporting rural communities into the future.”

As part of the new CAP Strategic Plan funding of €180m has been committed to LEADER for 2023-2027.  The Minister also confirmed that all of this funding will be allocated to the Local Action Groups who are appointed to deliver the new programme. A breakdown of the allocation is provided in the table below.

Interested parties can now apply by visiting the Department’s website and downloading an application form via the following link


Completed Expressions of Interest forms must be submitted by email only to leader2327@drcd.gov.ieno later than 5.30pm on Friday 16th December 2022.

The Department of Rural and Community Development will host an information webinar for all interested parties on 10th November 2022. Registration for this event is open at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/selection-process-of-local-action-groups-lags-to-deliver-leader-2023-2027-tickets-450388322597














Dublin Rural













































*County Cork includes three sub-regional areas of North Cork, South Cork and West Cork, the allocation indicated will be distributed across the three sub-regional areas.


Put your Social Enterprise on the Map

Put your Social Enterprise on the Map

The Western Development Commission has launched a new interactive map for social enterprises operating in the western region covering Clare, Galway, Roscommon, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal.

To date they have identified 288 social enterprises within the region but believe there are a lot more to capture. If your social enterprise is not on the map, now is your opportunity to increase your visibility and highlight the services you provide.

We are encouraging all social enterprises in Clare to  complete a short survey to register and confirm their details on the map.

The survey can be accessed here   The map is available here

1 day practical training course for the control of Japanese Knotweed

1 day practical training course for the control of Japanese Knotweed

Clare Local Development Company (CLDC) have engaged Dr. Frances Giaquinto and Nicholas Head to provide a free one day practical training course for the control of Japanese Knotweed for community members and landowners living in Lisdoonvarna/Doolin and Kilrush/Kilkee.

Learn how to:

  • Identify knotweed and to recognise the differences between the various types of knotweed
  • Assess the severity of an infestation
  • Work out the best control method
  • Use herbicide safely without causing harm to yourself or the environment.

Training will take place in the following locations

  • Lisdoonvarna (Pavilion Hall), Wednesday 7th September, 2022, 10am-3pm
  • Kilrush (Parish Hall), Wednesday 14th September, 2022, 10am-3pm

The training will be classroom and field based. All participants will receive a training manual which they can use for future reference.

To express an interest in participating in the training or to find out more, please email Gerry McDonagh, CLDC at gmcdonagh@cldc.ie or Fran Giaquinto at biodiversitytraining@gmail.com