3rd February 2021

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

GCCN Network News

Updates Other News and Updates
  • Ireland’s First Animal Welfare Strategy - read here
  • Strategic Review of the National Parks and Wildlife Service - read here
  • Government Publishes New Climate Jargon Buster Website - read here
  • Arts Council Funding Opportunities for 2021 - read here
  • REMINDER: Social Enterprise Development Fund 2021 - read here
Programmes and Initiatives  
  • Online Healthy Food Made Easy Programme - read here
  • Self-management Course for People Living With Chronic Migraine - read here
  • #FirstWeds: Ireland, Palestine and the United Nations Security Council - read here
Important Reminders
  • Review of the Galway City Development Plan 2017-2023 - read here
  • Public Consultation on Reviewing the National Development Plan - read here

COVID-19 Related Updates

  • Wellbeing Booklet for Older People - read here
  • Supporting Children Campaign - read here
  • Plan for Return to In-school Learning for Children with Special Educational Needs at Primary Level - read here
  • COVID-19 Vaccine in Ireland - 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

 Don't forget!
If you have information to share with other groups and organisations in Galway City, members of GCCN, please drop us a quick email at
Thank you!
Submit Your Event
Send Feedback
Get In Touch
GCCN Network News
GCCN Updates

GCCN Monthly Update
January and February 2021

GCCN aims to keep all members updated on the ongoing GCCN work and activities through the means of a report shared with the newsletter on a monthly basis. Please read here the January report.

Back to top

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

If you wish to submit any appropriate suggestions for consideration for any of the upcoming meetings please contact

Back to top

GCCN Townhalls on the City Development Plan

February 2021

All GCCN members are invited to participate in the thematic Townhall meetings on the City Development Plan 2023-2029 held by GCCN in collaboration with Galway City Partnership during February as seen in the table below.
Read more here.
If you wish to join one or more Townhalls in February please register below:

  Meeting Time Link
1 Climate Action Wednesday, 3rd February
6pm – 7.20pm 
Register Here
2 Community, Culture and Education Thursday, 4th February
6pm – 7.20pm 
Register Here
3 Green Network and Biodiversity Monday, 8th February
6pm – 7.20pm 
Register Here
Population Growth and Housing
Tuesday, 9th February
6pm – 7.20pm 
Register Here
5 Economic Development,
Employment and Enterprise
Wednesday, 10th February
6pm – 7.20pm 
Register Here
6 Transport and Sustainable Mobility Thursday, 11th February
6pm – 7.20pm 
Register Here
7 Energy and Infrastructure Thursday, 18th February
6pm – 7.20pm 
Register Here
8 Built Environment and Placemaking Sustainable Neighbourhoods Monday, 22nd February
6pm – 7.20pm 
Register Here
9 Ballinfoile Tuesday, 16th February
7.30pm - 8.30pm 
Register Here
10 Ballybane Tuesday, 23rd February
7.30pm - 9pm 
Register by email
11 Westside Wednesday, 24th February
7.30pm - 9pm
Register by email
12 Older People Thursday, 25th February
Register Here

Back to top

Other News and Updates

Ireland’s first Animal Welfare Strategy

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., launched Ireland’s first over-arching Animal Welfare Strategy. Taking a ‘One Health, One Welfare’ approach, the strategy recognises the strong interconnections and interdependences between human, animal and environmental health, and is underpinned by five guiding principles; working in partnership, science and evidence-led policy-making, improving education and knowledge, consistent evaluation and assessment, and an effective regulatory system.

Back to top

Strategic Review of the National Parks and Wildlife Service

A strategic review of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) gets underway today, February 3rd 2021. The review will assess the remit, status and funding of the NPWS division of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in the context of unprecedented ambition for the protection, conservation and restoration of biodiversity in Ireland.

The purpose of the review is to appraise the current operational model of the NPWS and to identify any issues, including structure, resourcing, staffing and governance, which need to be addressed in order to better equip the NPWS to meet its operational objectives. The review was a key commitment in the Programme for Government and its recommendations will inform the future development of the NPWS to enable it to support Ireland’s biodiversity objectives in alignment with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy and the forthcoming post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
Read more here.

Back to top

Government Publishes New Climate Jargon Buster Website

The Taoiseach and Minister O’ Gorman have published the Climate Jargon Buster Website now accessible at

The website provides plain English explanations for approximately 80 common climate action terms. Developed in collaboration with a group of young people from Comhairle na nOg, it is designed to be of assistance to anyone looking to understand the language used in relation to climate action.  

The Project was devised following feedback received from young people last year about the complexity of the terminology associated with climate science and policy and how it creates barriers to participation and engagement.
Read more here.

Back to top


Arts Council Funding Opportunities for 2021

The Arts Council announced recently more than 30 awards and funding schemes for 2021, designed to give to a wide range of artists and arts organisations the opportunity to apply for support.

The announcement includes a new ‘Agility Award’, Bursary Awards, Commissions Awards, Project Awards and Arts Grant Funding.

Schemes and awards are open to arts organisations, artists or practitioners meeting the published criteria. Please note that you must register for online services BEFORE you submit an application.

The table here lists the funding opportunities being planned by the Arts Council for 2021. It is as accurate as of January 2021, but subject to change.
For further details please visit the Arts Council website here and the funding section.

Back to top

Social Enterprise Development Fund 2021

€400,000 in funding is being made available to social enterprises to help lead the post-Covid economic and social recovery through Rethink Ireland’s Social Enterprise Development Fund 2021.
The objective of the fund is to find and back the best social enterprises in Ireland by making cash grants and strategic business support available to Awardees.
The 2021 Fund will be open for applications from 21 January until 5 March 2021.
Further details are available on the Rethink Ireland website here.

Back to top

Programmes and Initiatives

Online Healthy Food Made Easy Programme 
Starting Monday 22nd February at 10am

The newly developed online Healthy Food Made Easy (HFME) programme is a six-week nutrition education programme which aims to support participants to prepare healthy and nutritious meals for themselves and their families, from the safety of their own home.
The online HFME programme is suitable for adults who would like to gain practical information on healthy eating and experiment with healthy dishes that are quick and easy to prepare.

The first programme will take place on Monday mornings
from 10am to 11.30am, starting Monday 22nd February.

Please note that registration is essential as places are limited.
The closing date for registration is Friday 12th February.
To register, or for more information, contact Ashling on 085 8217547 or email

The programme will be delivered over 6 weeks. There will be one live Zoom session each week with a trained Healthy Food Made Easy Leader. New recipes will be shared each week for participants to try out at home. Links to demonstration videos will also be provided.

Back to top

Self-management Course for
People Living With Chronic Migraine

Migraine Association of Ireland

Migraine Association of Ireland is hosting a self-management course for people living with chronic migraine in the Galway area.
The course will run over three weeks via Zoom starting Wednesday, 17th February and continuing 24th Feb and 3rd of March.
The course is free of charge but persons interested should contact to register their interest.
See the poster here.

Back to top

#FirstWeds: Ireland, Palestine and the
United Nations Security Council

Join Comhlámh and the Department of International Development in Maynooth begin ourfor their 2021 season of #FirstWeds.This month's discussion will look at how Ireland can use its seat on the United Nations Security Council to support Palestine.
Tune in live on Wednesday, 3rd February at 7pm at the link below:

Back to top

Important Reminders

Review of the Galway City Development Plan 2017-2023
Preparation of the Galway City Development Plan 2023-2029

The review of the Galway City Development Plan 2017-2023 and preparation of the Galway City Development Plan 2023-2029 commenced on Thursday 7th January 2021.
The review process commences with a period of public consultation which runs from Thursday 7th January 2021 to Friday 5th March 2021.

The public notice - here outlines how submissions/observations regarding the review are invited from members of the public and other interested parties, noting that the closing date for receipt of submissions/observations is Friday 5th March 2021.  

If you would like to further engage in this public consultation, please contact the Development Plan Team by email at or by phone on 091 536599.

Back to top

Public Consultation on Reviewing the
National Development Plan

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is inviting submissions to Review to Renew, the public consultation element of the National Development Plan. 

The consultation period has been extended and will run to 5pm, 19 February 2021. Submissions received after this deadline may not be considered.

Respondents are requested to make their submissions by email to
Please clearly mark your submission in the subject line of your email as “Review to Renew Submission”.

Stakeholders are asked to respond to a number of questions which can be found here in this file here.

Back to top

COVID-19 Related Updates

Wellbeing Booklet for Older People Launched
 ‘Keep Well’ Campaign in Galway City

Galway City Council, in collaboration with its partners, continues to drive and lead community based responses to the pandemic by developing and delivering local resources, services, initiatives and activities to support both individuals and communities, and strengthen their resilience through an especially challenging time in all our lives.

The HSE Community Services in Galway have joined with Galway City Council to support older people to mind their physical and mental health and wellbeing over the coming months by producing a 20-page booklet and series of accompanying videos, as part of a new range of initiatives under the Keep Well campaign.  The booklet provides a range of practical advice focusing on the key themes of keeping active, staying connected, switching off, eating well and minding your mood.

Visit to download the booklet and for further details and updates on all the local initiatives and activities.  If you would like a copy of the free booklet which also contains useful telephone numbers for support and practical advice, please call the Galway City Community Call Helpline by Freephone 1800 400 150 or email to .

The accompanying video series is available by searching “Community Healthcare West” on YouTube
Read more here.

Back to top

Supporting Children Campaign

The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman T.D., has today launched the second Supporting Children campaign aimed at encouraging everyone to be mindful of vulnerable children and young people in these challenging times.

The campaign provides easy-to-access information on services available to children and families throughout the period of Covid-19 restrictions. Advertisements will be rolled out across radio and social media, with the Supporting Children website  providing an information hub and practical supports to anyone who may need them. 

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and Tusla have a robust infrastructure of services providing assistance to children, young people and families throughout Ireland, involving over six thousand funded organisations and services, including child protection, youth work, and youth, community, and family services. This existing system of structures and supports was mobilised during the COVID-19 crisis to ensure that vulnerable children and their families could still access the services they needed. 

Following the move to Level 5 restrictions in December, Tusla has put in place supports for victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence, including additional funding for 24-hour helplines.

Tusla continue with their essential work in child protection.  Anyone with a concern about a child’s safety or welfare should contact their local duty social work office using details on the Tusla website.
Read more here.

Back to top

Plan for Return to In-school Learning for Children with Special Educational Needs at Primary Level

Ministers Foley and Madigan welcome agreed on a plan for the return to in-school learning for children with special educational needs at the primary level. This announcement follows intensive engagement with the trade unions representing teachers and special educational needs assistants, and other relevant stakeholders including parents and school management bodies, to discuss the challenges posed and the supports required to ensure a safe return for this cohort of vulnerable pupils.

On Thursday 11 February, special schools will re-open to pupils. In accordance with this agreement pupils will attend on a 50 per cent basis to allow for attendance of reduced numbers within the school setting. This will be reviewed in line with public health advice.

On Monday 22 February, special classes in mainstream schools will re-open to pupils.

Talks will continue this week and in the coming period with stakeholders on further phases of return so that a wider reopening can be delivered for children as soon as possible.

During the period of school closure, remote learning provision will continue to be made available to all pupils in line with each school’s remote learning plan.

Recognising that remote learning is particularly challenging for children with additional needs, the Department of Education has put in place a supplementary programme to support the education and/or care needs of pupils with complex needs.

An allocation of five hours per week of home-based teaching or care supports will be made available to eligible pupils. This allocation is intended to supplement, and not replace, the remote teaching provided by the pupil’s school and can be provided by a teacher or SNA in a student’s home, at evenings and weekends. Participation in the programme is voluntary for families, teachers and SNAs and must be delivered in accordance with Public Health Advice.

The four–week programme (20 hours) can commence from11 February and can be used by families at any time up until the end of April.
Read more here.

Back to top

COVID-19 Vaccine in Ireland

The national vaccination programme has begun in Ireland, starting with front line healthcare workers and people over 65 years of age and living in Long Term Residential Care facilities. In order to limit the spread of the virus, we will all need to continue to practise the important public health measures that we’ve been following during the pandemic:

  • regular hand washing
  • cover coughs and sneezes
  • keep a 2-metre distance from other people
  • keep social contacts with other people outside our household to a minimum
  • know the symptoms of COVID-19 and stay at home and contact your GP to arrange a test if you think you have symptoms
  • wear a face covering in shops and in busy indoor workplaces, on public transport and in crowded outdoor spaces

The Irish Government established a High-Level Task Force on COVID-19 Vaccination. This group has developed a national vaccination plan for the COVID-19 vaccine in Ireland. The Taskforce is working with the HSE and the Department of Health on the rollout of the national COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Strategy lists the groups of people who will be the first to access a COVID-19 vaccine in Ireland. The COVID-19 vaccine will be available free of charge to everyone in Ireland.
Read more here

Who is getting COVID-19 vaccines now
People in these groups are currently being vaccinated for COVID-19:

  • people aged 65 years and older who live in long-term care facilities – they have a greater risk of serious illness if they get COVID-19
  • frontline healthcare workers – they have a higher risk of being exposed to COVID-19

The next group to be vaccinated will be people aged 85 and older. We expect this to start in February.

COVID-19 vaccination will be offered to the next groups as soon as possible.

Back to top

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.


We want to hear from you!
Submit your event or send us feedback at the links below.

Submit Your Event
Send Us Your Feedback
Get In Touch With Us
Copyright © 2021 Galway City Community Network, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp