Lonergan launches new Muintir community councils initiative

The former Governor of Mountjoy Jail, John Lonergan, will be the guest speaker at the launch of ten new Regional Muintir Na Tíre Community Councils in Bansha, this Saturday, January 29.

The former Governor of Mountjoy Jail, John Lonergan, will be the guest speaker at the launch of ten new Regional Muintir Na Tíre Community Councils in Bansha, this Saturday, January 29.

It will be a case of returning to his roots for John who is a native of the parish and who retired last year after having completed 42 years in the prison service; 26 of them as the most senior prison officer in the country at Mountjoy Prison.

The event on Saturday in Bansha is another important milestone in the history of Muintir Na Tre. The National Community Development Organisation is launching a Pilot Programme whereby ten new Regional Muintir Na Tre Community Councils will be formed in the South East Region.

The launch was to be attended by the Minister for Social Protection, amon Cuiv, but the current political turmoil has led to the cancellation of engagements for the Minister so regretably he will be unable to attend.

The decision to form these new Regional Councils is in response to detailed consultations and research undertaken with the existing 30 Community Councils in the South East region to identify the most important issues affecting their own respective areas. The existing Councils collectively meet the needs of over sixty thousand residents in the respective geographic areas.

Muintir na Tre is now proposing to respond with a proactive strategy to the emerging and clearly identified challenges. This innovative organisational Pilot Programme aims to deliver upon the following objectives; the provision of community-based support systems for appropriate households in target areas; to improve the catchment efficiency of local services; to develop innovative templates for provision of social services and to provide employment opportunities through application for relevant Government supported schemes.

These new Councils will be officially launched in the McGrath GAA Centre, Bansha at 12.15pm. The event will be preceeded by the Anniversay Mass for the late John M Canon Hayes, founder of Muintir Na Tre and for deceased members of the organisation nationwide in Bansha Parish Church at 11am. There will be a wreath laying ceremony at the grave of Canon Hayes immediately following the Anniversary Mass.