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 /

CLDC Circular Economy Project Repurposing Windfarm Blades Wins International “Best New Initiative” Award

CLDC Circular Economy Project Repurposing Windfarm Blades Wins International “Best New Initiative” Award

The International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) announced on Friday that the Irish pilot project “Repurposing Windfarm Blades,” by Clare Local Development Company, has been named as the Best New Initiative (BNI), in the prestigious UIAA 2023 Mountain Protection Award (MPA). The Clare initiative plans to turn old wind turbine blades into walking trail infrastructure, aiming to reduce the impact of wind farming on the environment, while modelling Circular Economy and helping raise awareness around reusing materials on a larger scale.

Windfarms in Ireland are generally situated in the upland areas, and this project will take redundant turbine blades and repurpose them into walking trail infrastructure like bridges and stiles, in this environment. This is the first project to use existing upland infrastructure to create trail infrastructure for the benefit of trail users. Currently, trail infrastructure is sourced from generic suppliers, mostly international companies involving large transport costs and environmental damage. This project keeps all the elements as local as possible, using local windfarms, local facilities, local trails, and local contractors wherever possible. Upgraded walking trails around Clare will showcase an innovative approach to the circular economy, and the project hopes to raise awareness and start conversations about repurposing waste materials.

The project was initiated by Clare Local Development Company (CLDC,) supported by Bladebridge from Universiy College Cork, and endorsed by Mountaineering Ireland. The first phase of the project is to repurpose the wind turbine blades that have reached end of life on wind farms into pedestrian bridges, stiles and seating on walking trails on the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Path. This is the busiest walking trail in Ireland with an excess of 600k users annually. A side project will be initiated to develop stiles and seating from repurposed blades.

Repurposing of this material is higher on the waste hierarchy than recycling, and higher than the conventional disposal methods of landfilling or incineration, or co-processing of the material into cement. The goals of the project are to firstly trial the repurposing of turbines into trail infrastructure on walking trails in County Clare, and then once installed and tested roll out the project via the Rural Recreation Officer network to other trails in Ireland; and finally promote the concept via international trail programmes.

“Provided the pilot phase of the project is successful, it will have a hugely positive environmental as well as social impact through education, awareness raising about circular economy, sustainable resource management and disposal. The way the project taps into local landowners, hiking, walking, guiding groups, people who make their living on the land that the trail it is targeting goes through, really speaks to a strong land ethic – something that mountain and upland cultures around the world share,” said the UIAA Assessment Team.

Eoin Hogan, the Rural Recreation Officer for CLDC who has headed this project, spoke with UIAA. “These new bridges will allow more walkers to enjoy the beautiful Cliffs of Moher trail in Co. Clare while respecting the local environment and keeping used blade materials out of landfills,” Eoin said. “We hope that the award will highlight this project as an example of how to change perceptions of ‘waste’ and to imagine new opportunities to improve the environment by repurposing used materials. For us, this project will be a success if people use the bridges, appreciate the design and the materials, talk about them, and see the benefit of repurposing materials to create new infrastructure and products.”

A total of 12 international projects operational on four continents were showcased as part of 2023 UIAA MPA.
Express your interest now for Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme!

Express your interest now for Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme!

Clare Local Development Company is inviting expressions of interest for Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) measure 1.

The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) provides funding for the development of new outdoor recreational infrastructure. It also provides support for the necessary repair, maintenance, enhancement or promotion of existing outdoor recreational infrastructure in rural areas across Ireland.

Scheme details HERE, and application form attached BELOW.

If you need anymore details please contact the CLDC Rural Recreation Officer on

Closing date for applications is Friday 11th of August.

ORIS – Measure 1 Application Form (CLDC)

Innovative Interactive Photo Posts Project

Innovative Interactive Photo Posts Project

A series of interactive photo posts have recently been installed on walking trails in Co Clare. Unlike more traditional trail marker posts, these innovative ones boast smartphone holders and have multiple uses.

The initiative was organised by Clare Rural Recreation Officer (RRO) Eoin Hogan of Clare Local Development Company. Eoin explains that these new posts allow walkers to do three things. “First, they allow walkers to take photos of trail conditions and send reports back to the trail manager via our website,” states Eoin. “Secondly, he adds, “the posts allow walkers to take selfies in safe locations.” “And finally,” Eoin explains, “you can take scenic photos and upload them automatically to the trail managers website. This is a great way to promote the trails to other hikers.”

Monitoring trail conditions

When it comes to monitoring trail conditions to ensure that walking routes remain safe and well maintained, the buck stops with RRO Eoin who looks after more than 400km of on-road and off-road walking trails and cycling trails. Given the length and, at times, remote areas of the trails, it is a challenging job requiring plenty of man-hours.

Eoin previously set up a team of volunteer trail wardens who monitor the trails once every three months and send the paperwork to be filed by the RRO. The initial funding for this warden scheme came from winning the Caminoways Greenlife Fund in 2016 and a further roll-out is planned in a cooperation project with Clare Sports Partnership. Now the new trail posts will supplement this monitoring process and the posts are positioned in areas where more regular trail monitoring is required. Anyone walking in these remoter spots can take photos of trail conditions and send reports back to trail manager via their website. The monitoring of the trails is critical for keeping them safe and maintained but also for preventing potential insurance claims.

Safe selfie locations
Believe it or not, a 2018 study from the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care found that 259 verifiable selfie-related deaths were recorded from 2011 to 2017.
Clare recently had its own ‘selfie’ tragedy when an Indian student fell from the Cliffs of Moher and eyewitness reports said he was taking a photo of himself at the time. One way to alleviate this is to create ‘safe selfie’ locations.
Eoin explains that the safe selfie locations are chosen to ensure the trail user is safe and away from danger, and that the chosen spots provide the ‘exciting’ view for the selfie taker, reducing the risk of them venturing to more dangerous spots.
Promotion of the trails by sharing scenic photos
Another benefit of these interactive photo posts is that they will allow walkers to take scenic photos and immediately upload them to the trail manager’s website for all to see. From the 300m Cliffs of Moher to the unique limestone landscape of the Burren, allowing instant sharing of gorgeous photos will encourage more walkers and lovers of nature to Co Clare which spans both the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Hidden Heartland Regions..

Instant uploading of photos will be possible using:
• The NFC Chip on the posts
• The QR code on the posts
• The direct website address which is also found on the posts
NFC stands for Near Field Communication and is a wireless technology that allows you to tap your smartphone on the post to open the trails website (on your phone) and upload it to.
Similarly, if you scan the QR code on the post with your phone, it will open a webpage allowing them to upload a picture to the trails website.
Or you can type the trail website into the browser on your phone to complete your photo upload.
If you’re keen to see these shared photos or to learn more about the project, visit