CLDC Staff give moving interview on ClareFM

CLDC Staff give moving interview on ClareFM

Alina Senkova, Ukrainian Response Team

“When you think that life is over, in this moment you find people who will show you that NO, you are ALIVE, you must live. You must start. You must live your life.”

We are very proud of our staff who spoke on ClareFM this morning! Have a listen here (11min) to hear about our Ukraine Response programme, the beauty and challenges of Ukrainian life and culture and Irish integration, and how Clare is leading the way with events like this festival coming up AUGUST 18-20!!

“We would love to show our culture to the Irish people who have been so good to us.”

We especially loved hearing about the film, made by and about Irish and Ukrainian Teenagers, about this moment that is so important, with the challenges faced and the friendships that have formed.


Summer Camp Programs for kids are full of fun and inclusivity!

Summer Camp Programs for kids are full of fun and inclusivity!

Well done everyone who attended our Ennis summer camp program!

Such a lovely group of kids.
A fun filled 3 days of games, dance, drama, sports, yoga, arts and crafts and loads more.

Looking forward to our other camps In other areas of Clare (Lisdoonvarna, Shannon and Ballyvaughan.)
Make sure to email for a space and any more information.

These camps are for Ukrainian, direct provision children and those with English as a second language.

Check out posters below with further information.



Our staff take the stage at national Grow Remote summit!

Our staff take the stage at national Grow Remote summit!

Last week, CLDC was very proud to support two of our community development workers – Michelle Nolan and Sean MacNamara – as they contributed to the national conversation around the future of work – and what that means for communities – at the Grow Remote Summit in Portlaoise. Michelle and Sean both work as part of the SICAP (Social Inclusion and Community Activation Program) team at CLDC.

The Grow Remote Summit was a national event that aimed to “bring together the remote working community, leaders in government, business innovators, and employers, to explore the future of work.”

Michelle was part of a panel discussion about collaboration and partnerships, where she spoke about responding to community needs, cohesion and the benefits of partnerships. She spoke about her experience within CLDC of partnering and working with other organisations, working effectively together while focusing on a higher purpose. She spoke about the impact that happens for the community as a result of collaborative partnerships.


“I’d like to say thank you to Grow Remote for inviting me to speak at the Summit on connecting rural communities to remote work,” said Michelle, who has been involved with organising several local job fairs in Clare. “The Clare Job Fairs have [been] increasing jobseekers’ awareness and accessibility to remote work. We are delighted to be involved in this work with Grow Remote, amongst other strong partners in the county, and are currently planning our third Jobs Fair in Ennis this coming October.”

Sean facilitated a meitheal workshop at the summit, around Bringing Hope to Local Communities.

“It was an amazing event and had so many great speakers,” Sean said. “It was great to be allowed to facilitate a workshop on ‘Bringing hope to Local Communities’. It really got people talking. Bringing hope to communities is what CLDC does through every program we run, so it was a perfect topic to talk about.” He added, “For CLDC and the SICAP team it was a great opportunity to show case the work we have done, and highlight the SICAP program on a national level.”

We are really proud of our staff for being so committed and involved with the local communities, and for being invited to share their knowledge and experience on a national level. We are glad to be a part of the conversation about the evolution of work for our communities!

To hear more about Grow Remote and the work that is taking place, you can have a listen to co-founder Tracy Keogh speaking on CLareFM. Grow Remote is trying to “make remote work for everyone.” Tracy has said, “It is vital that conversations are had with employers about the reality of remote work.” She says there are 100,000 remote jobs open in Clare today.

Have a listen here.

Clare Traveller Community Development Project celebrates success at launch of Strategic Plan

Clare Traveller Community Development Project celebrates success at launch of Strategic Plan

True community development is about trusting communities to develop their own solutions and pathways.”

The above words were spoken by Minister Joe O’Brien, as the Clare Traveller Community Development Project (CDP) launched their Strategic Plan yesterday. 

At CLDC, we couldn’t agree more, and we are really proud of what the Traveller CDP has accomplished. The launch was a momentous occasion, and a real opportunity to celebrate what has already been achieved, as we look forward to what comes next.

CLDC is the host organisation for the Traveller CDP, and we are also one of the members of the Steering Group that supports them. The Traveller CDP aims to improve living conditions, opportunities and achievement of human rights for Travellers in Clare, and this will be pursued through establishing and strengthening local alliances and, most importantly, through building effective Traveller leadership and a strong Traveller voice. The new Strategic Plan outlines the approach that will be taken by the project over the next three years.

The event was well attended, by people across many organisations and agencies as well as members of the Travelling community. Ciara Griffin, our CLDC coordinator who oversees the Traveller CDP, shared her excitement about the event and everything it represents:

“We [CLDC] have been supporting the hardest-to-reach communities, including Travellers, for many years, and it’s great to see the groundswell of support that was reflected at yesterday’s launch…it’s a really positive indication of progress. It’s not just that the project is in place, but that it’s doing really well! The collaboration between organisations is really strong, the Community Development Project model is really strong, The team behind the project is invested, and the CDP structure provides the support needed to develop Traveller leadership. The level of support coming from the Department is also very positive; they can see and are acknowledging all the work being done on the ground. This is a great example of where collaboration works.”

Minister O’Brien (who is the Minister for Community Development and Charities,) was very supportive of the Traveller CDP, as he spoke about the Strategic Plan and the issues faced by the Travelling community. “Community Development is all about supporting and empowering communities to face current and future challenges, and this is evident in abundance in this plan. I welcome how clear the plan is about the size of the challenge, and the very serious issues facing members of the Travelling community: in housing, living conditions, access to education and employment, the lived everyday experience of discrimination, and unfortunately – the grave reality of the unacceptable levels of mental health issues affecting the Travelling community.”

He added, “I’m very impressed by the obvious level of positive engagement and involvement by members of the Travelling community in the planning process of this strategic plan.”

A key piece highlighted by many voices present, was the importance of this project being Traveller-led. “The capacity of the Traveller community to take this and lead it, is absolutely, totally essential,” said Brian Dillon (left), who consulted on the plan, and outlined the strategy for us.

Bridgie Casey (below), who is the coordinator for the Traveller CDP and a member of the Travelling community, told us, “We’re happy that the community came together, to look at the areas of work that need to be done. The key areas are accommodation, health, education, and culture/identity. So we’re hoping to build that relationship with the agencies, [with our] Traveller leaders.”

Josephine Fogarty, the coordinator of Traveller health services with the HSE who has worked closely with Travellers for many years, echoed sentiments of excitement, along with the importance of both collaboration and Traveller leadership. She said, “Today is a great day for the Traveller community in Clare; it’s something we’ve looked for for quite a number of years now. It’s brilliant to see the Traveller community, the steering group and all the agencies that are supporting the Traveller community in Clare. This CDP will make a difference, and it IS working in partnership with Travellers, and it wants Travellers to be empowered, for them to decide what they want to do to make their lives better in Clare.”

An inspiring voice from the Traveller community came from Anne Marie Quilligan (left), who is a Traveller and a Social Work Master’s Student. She brought palpable appreciation and emotion to the room as she spoke about how she has been impacted by her time with Bridgie Casey (who is one of her mentors,) and these Traveller-led community development efforts. “[Bridgie] made me proud to be a Traveller. I used to question my identity…Bridgie is the reason I’m so proud.”

Anne Marie also spoke passionately about the pathway to change. “We need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Changes are not going to come without difficult conversations.” This was echoed by Brian DIllon, who said, “We have to face up to the fact that this isn’t easy. But I can see that it’s starting in Clare. What I can see happening in Clare, is that the Travellers are now being asked.”

Adding to the discussion around the plan being Traveller-led, our CEO Doirin Graham (right) spoke about what we can do in order to support this. She clearly addressed the responsibility we have as organisations (ourselves and others) that are working collaboratively around Community Development. She described the need for organisations to respond differently than we have in the past: “We have to be willing to change,” she said. “When voices come back and tell us what they need…we have to be willing to be more open, and to ask how we can change to meet those needs.”

The launch was an inspiring and positive blend of celebration, collaborative discussion, and truthful conversations about the challenges that will be faced on the path ahead. It is clear that the Traveller CDP is having an impact, and has been incredibly successful thus far since their inception. The CDP is one of seven pilot community development projects originally funded in 2021 – this has now grown to 10 projects – and the department is optimistic that these projects will be supported well into the future.  (See for more information.)

The Minister finished with words of praise and support for everything that has already been accomplished, and the ongoing impact of the CDP:

“I’d like to commend Clare Traveller CDP, who are in their second year of the programme, for their hard work and commitment to date…The evidence is here, you are making a real difference to the lives of the Travelling communities you have supported since the start of this programme.”

With plenty of sunshine to boot, it was a wonderful morning all around!

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

CLDC is hiring! Employment Service Caseworkers

CLDC is hiring! Employment Service Caseworkers

Mid-West Local Area Employment Service (LAES) – Employment Service Caseworkers

CLDC is establishing a panel of suitably qualified candidates to fill current and future Caseworker vacancies. The Caseworker is part of a multi-disciplinary team providing high quality one-to-one guidance, mediation, advice, job placement and aftercare service to people most distant from the labour market, to enable them to progress to employment. Other progression routes are also explored to upskill job seekers, through education and training opportunities.

Job Description can be downloaded below, or contact

Completed CV and cover letter to be submitted by e-mail to

LAES Job Description