17th February 2021

Welcome to this edition of GCCN Network News. Below we have information on:

GCCN Network News

  • Public Consultation on the City Development Plan: February Meetings - read here
  • Upcoming SPC/LCDC Meetings - read here
Other News and Updates
  • National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017-2021: Report of the National Biodiversity Forum - read here
  • Re-imagining our Outdoor Public Spaces - read here
  • Future Funding for Disability Projects - read here
  • St Patrick’s Festival 2021: €1m in Programme Funding for New Virtual Celebration - read here
  • Social Enterprise Development Fund: Webinar Recording and SED Fund Application Clinics - read here
 Programmes and Initiatives  
  • SDG Advocate Training Programme - read here
  • Bealtaine Festival 2021 and Bealtaine Hero Award - read here
  • Video Tutorials: Online Job Interview and Basic Functionality of Technology - read here
  • Well-Being With Wally Video! - Resources for Children - read here

COVID-19 Related Updates

  • Message from Covid-19 Stakeholder Communications Support: 12 Feb - read here
  • Vaccinations Centres by County - read here
  • Statement From the Minister for Health on ‘High-risk’ Countries - read here
  • School Meals Funding Will Continue During Mid-term Break - read here
  • Galway City COVID-19 Community Call Helpline - read here
  • Keep Well Campaign - read here
  • Reminder: Support for the Older People - read here
  • Galway City Community Response Map - read here

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GCCN Network News
GCCN Updates

Public Consultation on the City Development Plan
Meetings held in February 2021

The review of the Galway City Development Plan 2017-2023 and preparation of the Galway City Development Plan 2023-2029 runs until Friday 5th March 2021.

GCCN in collaboration with Galway City Partnership will hold a series of thematic Townhall meetings on the City Development Plan 2023-2029 held during February as seen below. 
Read more here.

Eastside Meeting Announced
February 25th 2021, 6pm -7.30pm - Register Here
The Eastside Meeting on the Galway City Development Plan 2023-2029 will cover Doughiska, Roscam, Renmore, Murrough, Ardaun, Ballybrit, Merlin Park and Surroundings. 

Reminder: Other Meetings

  Meeting                      Time Link
  Energy and Infrastructure Thursday, 18th February
6pm – 7.20pm
Register Here
  Built Environment and Placemaking Sustainable Neighbourhoods Monday, 22nd February
6pm – 7.20pm 
Register Here
  Terryland, Ballinfoile, Castlegar Tuesday, 16th February
7.30pm - 8.30pm 
Register Here
  Ballybane Tuesday, 23rd February
7.30pm - 9pm 
Register by email
  Westside Wednesday, 24th February
7.30pm - 9pm
Register by email
  Older People Thursday, 25th February
Register Here
Other meetings held in Galway City
Youth Consultation
for 12-17-year-old
Organised by Youth Work Ireland and Comhairle na nÓg
Saturday, 27th February
11am -1.30pm
Register by email at
Galway Integration Consortium
with a focus on input from the Migrant community 
Organised by Galway City Partnership
Monday, March 1st
Register by email at

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Upcoming SPC/LCDC Meetings

February 2021

The following local structures will meet in February as follows:

SPC/LCDC                                   Date       Check the links below for details and documentation
Economic, Community and Cultural Development SPC 19th February Read more here
Climate Action, Environment, Recreation & Amenity SPC 23rd February Read more here
Local Community Development Committee 24th February Read more here
Housing & Social Inclusion SPC 26th February Read more here

GCCN will hold Linkage Group meetings with interested GCCN members prior to the above meetings. If you wish to submit any appropriate suggestions for consideration for any of the upcoming meetings please contact

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Other News and Updates

National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017-2021
Report of the National Biodiversity Forum

Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform has welcomed the publication of a new independent review of Ireland’s third National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017-2021. The review was conducted by the Biodiversity Forum, a group of biodiversity experts from across academia, NGO, public and private sectors, whose role is to provide independent monitoring of progress of the implementation of the National Biodiversity Action Plan, highlighting progress and bottlenecks, and providing progress reports to the Minister for Heritage.
The report of the National Biodiversity Forum can be read at:
For further details please go here.

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Re-imagining our Outdoor Public Spaces
Press Release

On Thursday 11th February 2021, the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D. announced a new funding scheme to help local authorities open up and create public spaces and facilities dedicated to the arts, culture and festivals.

The scheme will be known as the Outdoor Public Space Scheme 2021.  The support will allow each local authority to adapt, equip or otherwise improve public spaces for cultural and events activities. The new scheme will take account of public health guidelines and of the needs of local arts and entertainment communities.

Local authorities are invited to propose capital projects for outdoor spaces which are flexible, innovative and facilitate year-round use. Ideally projects should respond to the challenges associated with COVID-19 and support the recovery of the creative, cultural, entertainment and events sector as well as being future-proofed from a health and safety perspective.

Projects should aim to deliver speedy results or actions with added benefits for tourism, and the hospitality sector.  They should also demonstrate how they will support the Night-time Economy, a priority for the Minister and the Programme for Government. 
Each local authority can apply for up to €250,000 under the scheme. 

For further details please go here.

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Future Funding for Disability Projects
Press Release

On Friday 12th February 2021, the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, and the Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Anne Rabbitte TD, have confirmed that arrangements will be put in place to support the continued provision of employment services for young people with disabilities.

The Ability Programme was introduced in June 2018 to bring young people with disabilities closer to the labour market. The funding for this Programme will amount to around €16 million over a three-year period.

It is being provided jointly under the European Union’s ESF 2014-2020 Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning Operational Programme and the Irish Exchequer. 

The Ability Programme is being delivered by 27 community and voluntary groups around the country.

As the three-year Programme is to conclude in June 2021, Ministers Humphreys and Rabbitte have today confirmed that a range of new measures will be put in place to ensure that funding support for young people with disabilities will remain available into the future. Further details will be announced in the coming weeks and Pobal and the Department of Social Protection will be communicating directly with Ability Providers.

For further details please go here.

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St Patrick’s Festival 2021
€1m in Programme Funding for New Virtual Celebration

The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media is getting behind St Patrick’s Festival 2021 as part of its ongoing work to support and showcase Irish artists and the creative community despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister Catherine Martin has committed up to €1m in programme funding from her Department in addition to €400,000 in business continuity funding through Fáilte Ireland.

St Patrick’s Festival 2021 remains uniquely placed to act as an economic driver in the arts and entertainment sector at a time of ongoing crisis, by providing employment and commissioning funding for artists, creators and live entertainment, bringing the nation six virtual days and nights of events, while also showcasing Ireland, its culture, heritage and wider tourism offering.

Furthermore, hundreds of performers, creators, artists, freelance crew, and technical workers, who typically engage in much paid work during the St Patrick’s Day celebrations, are set to be employed as a result of this government support. 
For further details please go here.

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Social Enterprise Development Fund
Webinar Recording and SED Fund Application Clinics

The Social Enterprise Development Fund is open for applications until the 5th March 2021.

On Friday, 12th February 2021, at 11am, Rethink Ireland held a webinar to provide an overview of the Fund. Please find the slides from the webinar here for your information. A recording of the webinar can be found on the Rethink Ireland website here.

We'd also like to remind you that Rethink Ireland will be hosting SED Fund Application Clinics from 1-2pm, Friday, February 19th and February 26th. 
To register for the SED Fund Application Clinics please visit the Zoom link:

Feel free to attend if you have any further questions about the application
Alternatively, you can e-mail with any queries.

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Programmes and Initiatives

SDG Advocate Training Programme

This year, Development Perspectives are running the SDG Advocate Training Programme which will offer 26 active citizens an opportunity to become one of Ireland’s SDG Advocates through this innovative project. This training course will allow the advocates to deepen their understanding of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals, represent the project and lead transformative change in Ireland.
Please find the information sheet here. Interested people can APPLY HERE.
Please circulate this opportunity amongst your members.

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Bealtaine Festival 2021 and Bealtaine Hero Award

Bealtaine is Ireland’s only festival that celebrates creativity as we age. While we may still be fighting Covid-19, Age and Opportunity are busy preparing for an exciting new online Bealtaine 2021 and they need you to join! The festival will take place online throughout the month of May, with a wide range of exciting activities that will be shared soon. The new theme for 2021 is In(ter)dependence.

Age & Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival wishes to recognise two innovative grassroots arts projects through the Bealtaine Hero Award. Applications are invited from individuals and/or organisations who wish to create an exciting new online festival event which will be presented during the Bealtaine Festival 2021.

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Video Tutorials
Online Job Interview and Basic Functionality of Technology

Galway City Partnership have produced a video tutorial series around basic functionality of technology.
The most recent tutorial in the series aims to support Job-seekers preparing for an online interview. 
All video tutorials can be found at ‘Resources’ – Tutorials - here or on the Galway City Partnership YouTube Page - here.

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Well-Being With Wally Video!
Resources for Children

The Wellbeing with Wally video series helps schools, teachers and parents support children during the Covid 19 Pandemic. Wally talks to children about what to do during the lockdown. Wally is part of an internationally acclaimed evidence-based programme called ‘Incredible Years Dina in the Classroom’.
To watch the Wellbeing with Wally videos go here.

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COVID-19 Related Updates

Message from Covid-19 Stakeholder Communications Support
12th February 2021

Dear Colleague,
Thank you for your continuing support in helping to share information about COVID-19. Below are a few communications updates for you

Public Health Measures
Ireland is at level 5 restrictions. 
You can see the measures in place here
Everyone is asked, for the protection of our friends, family and the frontline, to please stay at home.

COVID-19 Vaccination Programme
The vaccination programme continues to be rolled out nationwide, and more than 240,000 vaccines have been administered.  
Daily vaccination data is now available to all on the COVID-19 Data Hub and is on the COVID-19 Tracker App. The data is from 48 hours previously to allow for validation.
The next group (people aged 85 and over) in the COVID-19 vaccine programme will be invited by GPs from next Monday, 15th February, bringing the vaccine programme firmly into the community. You’ll find answers to your questions about the vaccination programme on

 COVID-19 Vaccine Registration for frontline healthcare workers
The COVID-19 vaccine registration portal is now available for frontline healthcare workers to register for their vaccine. Frontline healthcare workers who have not already registered for a vaccine are being asked to register their details using the online portal over the coming days. This includes frontline healthcare workers working in direct patient care in:

  • HSE or HSE-funded organisations
  • Private hospitals or clinics
  • Community based not-for-profit and private healthcare providers not directly funded by the HSE.
Before you register, please read the Guidelines for sequencing and registration process for HCW COVID vaccination.pdf (size 803 KB). This will help you to identify which group you are in.  Other healthcare workers will be invited to register when it is their turn - this includes management, administration and other non-patient/service user-facing personnel.

Frontline healthcare workers can register here
COVID-19 vaccine information for people with sight loss
Working with NCBI, information about COVID-19 vaccines for people with sight loss have been created in Braille, audio and large print. These have been distributed to NCBI members. The large print format is also available on
Face coverings
Face coverings are now mandatory in retail outlets, banks, credit unions and post offices, in taxis, in bus and rail stations, on public transport and for workers in customer-facing roles in cafés, bars and restaurants. You can find the latest information on face coverings here
COVID-19 posters
You can download the latest COVID-19 posters from here and here.
Ireland Reads
As part of the Healthy Ireland ‘Keep Well’ campaign and following Slaintecare funding, the recently launched ‘Ireland Reads campaign is about promoting the power of reading for enjoyment and wellbeing. Taking some time to relax and do enjoyable things has never been more important, given COVID-19, and there is evidence that reading is a great way to get a sense of escape and boost wellbeing. More details can be found on

Campaign resources available on
Ireland Reads logo, imagery and illustrations by well-known illustrator Tara O’Brien are available to download at
Ireland Reads promotional video is available to view at and can be downloaded here.
Follow Libraries Ireland on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – use #IrelandReads or #SqueezeInARead. 
Healthy Ireland and sponsorship of Operation Transformation
The ‘Keep Well’ cross-Government community resilience campaign co-ordinated by Healthy Ireland and funded by Sláintecare is sponsoring Operation Transformation this year.
The remaining programmes will go out at 9.30 on Wednesday nights on RTE 1 TV.
Operation Transformation is a TV series on RTE 1 encouraging the Irish public to get active and get healthy. Over the course of the show it gives the nation the tools they need to get moving, lose weight and feel great. It is however much more than a TV programme – it is an empowering movement with the ability to have a significant impact on the behaviours we need to change. The viewership for the last 3 weeks has been greater than 400,000 viewers per episode.
The leaders and themes are supported across the Healthy Ireland social media channels, in particular Facebook and also a series of helpful videos, similar to above. The Healthy Ireland team would be grateful if you would share this information across your social channels.
Where to find COVID-19 Vaccination Information
We encourage everyone to read about the COVID-19 vaccine and to get their information from a factual, trusted source – here are the links to the pages with information on the vaccine:

Public Health Information
As always, for the most up to date information and advice on Coronavirus, please go to: and Clinical and professional guidance relating to COVID-19 is available on where you’ll find up to date guidance for healthcare settings and non-clinical settings.

  • Please check here for the most up to date partner resources for COVID-19.
  • You can find the COVID-19 A-Z information here from the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).
  • Please also check the Healthy Ireland site here with further resources and information on the Keep Well campaign.
  • You can view the latest information on how Ireland is responding to cases of COVID-19 here.
  • Ireland’s COVID-19 Data Hub is available here.

Many thanks for your continued support,
Covid-19 Health Communications Stakeholder Support

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Vaccinations Centres by County
Press Release

The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, has confirmed locations for 37 vaccination centres across Ireland for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.

The 37 centres have been confirmed by the HSE, with at least one in every county. These centres will support the vaccination of the general population in a safe and efficient manner. While currently vaccines are being administered in healthcare settings and by GPs, many people will be offered their vaccination in these centres, having self-registered online.

For further details and a list of the Vaccinations Centres please go here.

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Statement From the Minister for Health on ‘High-risk’ Countries
Press Release

On Friday 12th February 2021, the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD has added an additional 18 states to the list of ‘high-risk’ countries. Passengers arriving from these countries must complete a mandatory 14-day period of self-quarantine.

Under Regulations that entered into force on February 4, the Minister for Health, on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer can specify additional states as ‘Category 2’ states. Brazil and the Republic of South Africa have been on the list since February 5, 2021.

The National Oversight Group for Variants of Concern has advised of additional high-risk countries.

The Chief Medical Officer advised the Minister for Health that more stringent restrictions on travel should now also be applied to the following states:

  • Angola, Austria, Botswana, Burundi, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Eswatini, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

For further details please go here.

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School Meals Funding Will Continue During Mid-term Break
Press Release

On Friday 12th February 2021, the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, TD, has confirmed that funding under the School Meals Programme will continue during the upcoming mid-term break.

Minister Humphreys said she wants to reassure parents and school authorities that this vital support for pupils will continue despite the break in the school calendar.

This will ensure that participating schools (primary and secondary) can provide food parcels benefiting thousands of pupils during this time.

While funding under the School Meals Programme is normally confined to the academic year, an exception is being made in light of Covid-19.

For further details please go here.

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Important Reminders


The Galway City Community Call Helpline
New Flyer Graphics
The helpline is open to anyone who needs it, seven days a week.
If you need support or help to get access to shopping, food, medication or if you feel isolated or lonely and need someone to talk to, please get in touch at:
☎️ 1800 400 150

Keep Well Campaign
The Keep Well campaign provides guidelines, information, and tips on how we can add healthy and helpful habits to our daily and weekly routines around five simple actions: keeping active, keeping in contact, switching off and getting creative, eating well and minding your mood
Support for the Older People This Winter
With the winter months approaching, we would like to share once again some of the main helplines for older people to access, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 alert.
  • Galway City COVID-19 Community Call Helpline: 1800 400 150
  • COPE Galway Helpline: 085  87 67 785
  • Alone Helpline: 0818 222 024
  • Senior Line: 1800 804 591
We highly encourage you to share these numbers with any older person you know.
Galway City Community Response Map

As part of the ongoing work of the Galway City Community Response Forum, Galway City Community Network and Galway City Council have developed a map of the COVID-19 related responses, activities and services available to people in Galway City.

The map is publicly available and can be used as a useful information resource both for individuals made vulnerable by COVID-19 and by organisations or agencies that need to know where they may refer their clients to for support.

The map is online at the following links:
Further details are available on the GCCN Website.


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