ARDEE Town Council are to investigate the possibility of benefitting from the Rural Enabler programme to gain extra funds for next year’s St Patrick’s Day parade.
A presentation on the scheme was given by Dundalk woman Sharon O’Toole at a council meeting. The programme is a 12 county approach to support rural communities at a local level to identify and tackle issues such as sectarianism, racism, social exclusion and all other forms of rural inequality.
It is a “peace building” project and grants are available to community organisations throughout the county.
At the council meeting but councillors said they would look to see whether funding was available to them for their St Patrick’s Day parade because of its strong cross-border element.
Funding is available under the scheme for any projects that increase awareness and understanding, increase the capacity or skills of groups and increase the potential of sharing spaces for the benefit of society.
Sharon told the meeting: “We work with settlements of less than 4,500 and the good thing is that they don’t have to be constituted.
“They can come to us and say we feel there’s a need for this in our community and we then work with them to try and make it happen. A facilitatory grant is available with an action plan up to e2,000.”
A total of e30,000 is being made available to Louth and Sharon said one local soccer team from Ardee had already signed up to the project by organising a tournament against teams from the North.
Cllr Fintan Malone asked whether the council could look for funding for the St Patrick’s Day parade because bands came to the event from all over the North.
Ms O’Toole said the council could make a case for funding.
Cllr Padraig McKenny said the St Patrick’s Day parade has a good cross-border element and it seems like something Ardee could tap into.