24th February 2021

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

GCCN Network News

GCCN Updates
  • Public Consultation on the City Development Plan: February Meetings - read here
  • GCCN Training - read here
Galway City News
  • Galway City Mayor’s Awards read here
  • Galway City Council’s campaign on cleaning up our City read here
  • Young People Capture the Scenic Nature of Galway City read here
Other News and Updates
  • Government Departments' Engagement With the C&V Sector read here
  • Policy Paper on Future of Irish Water read here
  • New Artist-in-Residence Programme as part of the Decade of Centenaries Programme read here
 Programmes and Initiatives  
  • Design Lab / A Space for Belonging: AATE Outreach Programme read here
  • The Just Transition Champions Programme - Call for Community & Youth Workers read here
  • Free Online Exercise Class for Over 55s read here
  • Living Well Programme read here
Supports Events
  • Disability Federation of Ireland Webinar on State Reporting Process of UNCRPD: 25th February read here
  • AHEAD National Conference: 8th April - 7th May 2021  read here
Public Consultations and Surveys
  • #LoveYourSea - Public Consultation read here
  • Galway Sexual Health Forum - Survey for Community and Government Organisations read here
  • National Minimum Wage - Public Consultation read here

COVID-19 Related Updates

  • Level 5 Will Continue until 5th April read here
  • Update on COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021 - The Path Ahead read here
  • Vaccine Allocation Strategy Update 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.
Read more here.
GCCN in collaboration with Galway City Partnership will hold a series of thematic meetings on the City Development Plan 2023-2029 held during February as seen below:

  • Westside | Wednesday, 24th February, 7.30pm - 9pm Register by email

  • Older People | Thursday, 25th February, 11am-12.20pm  Register Here

  • Eastside | February 25th 2021, 6pm -7.30pm - Register Here
    Covering: Doughiska, Roscam, Renmore, Murrough, Ardaun, Ballybrit, Merlin Park and Surroundings. 

Other meetings held in Galway City

  • Youth Consultation for 12-17-year-old | Saturday, 27th February, 11am -1.30pm, Register by email at
  • Galway Integration Consortium with a focus on input from the Migrant community | Monday, March 1st, 7pm, Register by email at

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GCCN Training

March 2021
Training Date Registration
Online Skills Webinar 2nd March 2021
11am – 12.30pm

This session is booked out. Please contact for future training.
Governance Training Workshop  
15th March 2021
7pm – 9pm
Register Here
Community Development  
29th March 2021
6pm – 7.30pm
Register Here
GCCN Induction  
31st March 2021
6pm – 7pm
Register Here
For further details, please download the GCCN Training Calendar – here or visit the GCCN website - here.


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Galway City News

Galway City Mayor’s Awards
Nominations for 2020 are now OPEN

The annual Galway City Mayor’s Awards will formally recognise the outstanding contributions that local volunteers, community groups and voluntary organisations have made in supporting the residents of Galway City during the past year. 
In these unprecedented times, it is even more important to acknowledge those who have volunteered on the front line during the COVID-19 crisis bringing vital supplies, support and comfort to the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Mayor of Galway City, Cllr Mike Cubbard, is launching the awards to celebrate the incredible community spirit shown during last year in particular and is asking residents to nominate their own community heroes for an award. 

Nominations are invited for individuals or groups who are involved in voluntary activity which takes place in the city in one of the following categories, reflecting the different facets of volunteering particularly within the context of the response to local needs during COVID-19:

  • Arts, Culture, Heritage & Cúrsaí Gaeilge Award
  • Residents & Local Areas Award
  • Community Service & Social Inclusion Award
  • Older Person Volunteer of the Year Award
  • Sports Volunteer of the Year Award
  • Children and Youth Support Award
  • Young Volunteer of the Year Award
  • Environmental Sustainability Award

If you would like to nominate a person, community group or voluntary organisation for any of these award categories, you can complete a nomination form on the council website at
The closing date for online nominations is Friday, 16th April 2021 at 5pm.

For further information on the Mayor’s Awards please email 
Further details are available on

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‘Be Part of the Solution not Part of the Pollution’
Galway City Council’s campaign on cleaning up our City

Stage 1: How to dispose of bulky waste during Level 5 lockdown
During Level 5 of COVID-19 restrictions, with so many people at home, many Galwegians have been giving their houses an early spring clean.  Galway City Council want to remind people of the legal and safe ways to dispose of your bulky goods waste and avoid using bogus waste collectors.
Find further details and the compliance checklist - here.

Stage 2: Can you provide evidence of a waste collection service or landfill receipts?The majority of our population are waste compliant but unfortunately, there are some that are not. As part of Galway City Council's commitment to tackling the issue of illegal dumping in the city, Galway City Council now want to ensure that householders and businesses are aware of their obligations when it comes to waste compliance, as well as targeting illegal waste practices taking place in the city. 
Find further details and the compliance checklist - here.

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Young People Capture the Scenic Nature of Galway City

The magnificent green and blue spaces of Galway City have been beautifully captured in over 120 photographs submitted to the Galway City Council Children’s Nature Photography Competition during the final weeks of 2020 and the first month of 2021. The competition aimed to capture any biodiversity, nature or local blue and green spaces that the young people of Galway had taken to their hearts within their 5km limit.
Read more here.

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Other News and Updates

Government Departments' Engagement With the C&V Sector

Minister Joe O’Brien, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development with special responsibility for Community Development and Charities, has written to all Ministers and Government Departments underlining his commitment to implementing the Roadmap for Social Inclusion and specifically the commitment within that roadmap for all Government Departments to ‘renew and refresh’ engagement with the Community & Voluntary sector.

Minister O’Brien pointed out that ongoing engagement between Government Departments and the Community & Voluntary sector is a key focus of the Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020-2025. It has been well established that participation and community engagement inevitably leads to a more successful decision-making process with better outcomes for all involved.  He said that gathering this information from each department is an important first step in working towards strengthening the culture of consultation in Departments with the sector.
Read more here.

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Policy Paper on Future of Irish Water

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD has today (23rd February 2021) published the policy paper “Irish Water – Towards a national, publicly-owned, regulated, water services utility” following its approval at Cabinet.

The Policy Paper sets out the Government’s views and expectations on the next steps in the transformation of the water sector that will lead to the retention of Irish Water as a national, publicly-owned, regulated, water services utility.
Read more here.

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New Artist-in-Residence Programme as part of the Decade of Centenaries Programme

Minister Catherine Martin T.D. has announced a new Artist-in-Residence scheme to create new works to encourage public engagement with the Decade of Centenaries and institutions.

Artists will be invited to reflect on the rich collections held by our institutions and other bodies and create innovative pieces in order to reach new audiences.

The programme is in partnership with the National Museum of Ireland (NMI), the National Library of Ireland (NLI), the National Archives (NAI), the Beyond 2022 Project and the Military Archives as part of the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2021-2023.

This collaboration with the five hosts will culminate in imaginative work and new audiences for the vast array of collections held by our National Cultural Institutions and other bodies. The duration of each residency will be specific to the host Institution and a fee of up to €20k is available per residency (with both the NMI and NAI proposing a two year residency with a fee of €40k over two years proposed).
Read more here.

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Programmes and Initiatives

Design Lab / A Space for Belonging
Architecture at the Edge AATE Outreach Programme

This week, the Architecture at the Edge (AATE) team announced an exciting new project in collaboration with education organisation Matt + Fiona.
MATT+FIONA is a social enterprise that believes all young people should have the opportunity to shape their built environment. Through their collaborations, they offer unique, hands-on education programmes for children and young adults, which enable them to directly create full-scale places and spaces.
Design Lab / A Space for Belonging,  aims to empower young people to physically realise the ideas in their imaginations and open their eyes to the potential of a better designed built environment. The programme is open to all Galway schools, with a focus on students in 3rd Year and 4th Year/ Transition Year.
Read the full press release here.

Calling All Creatives

AATE is seeking creative architects, artists and designers and engaging architecture, art & design graduates
to join this exciting initiative to empower the next generation to develop their ideas for the future of the local area.

For further details read the description here.

To apply email a completed application form and CV to

Please visit the AATE website for more information.

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The Just Transition Champions Programme
Call for Community Workers and Youth Workers 
Community Work Ireland and Friends of the Earth are joining forces to deliver an innovative programme upskilling community work practitioners and youth work to play a vital role in the just transition to a decarbonised and climate resilient future. Five online sessions will explore issues around the just transition and all participants will be eligible for €150 seed funding to deliver a multiplier workshop addressing a just transition issue in their local community.
The Just Transitions Champions Programme will explore several essential issues for local climate justice and a just transition, including:
  • Strengthening personal resilience/emotional capacity in the face of climate crisis.
  • Building powerful and inclusive participatory democracy.
  • Fostering collective local resilience in our food, energy and economic systems.
  • Supporting justice and solidarity in the transition locally, nationally & globally.

What is the just transition?

Just transition means an approach to social and economic transition from a carbon intensive to a decarbonised and climate resilient society. The Just transition approach emphasises decent work, quality jobs and fair sharing of the burdens and benefits in the transition process.

What role do community workers and youth workers play?

Community workers and youth workers have significant expertise working with marginalised and disadvantaged groups to support their collective participation and empowerment. These skills will be vital to ensuring equitable and effective climate action.

Why Just Transition Champions?

The aim of this programme is to foster and support Just Transition Champions in the youth work and community sector. These will be folks who can advocate for the rights of young people and communities and support them to stand up and make their voices heard in climate policy making. After the programme is completed, participants can join a Just Transition Community of Practice support network to facilitate information sharing and support amongst champions.

Who is this programme designed for?

  • Individuals currently or recently working in youth work and community development organisations across the island of Ireland, north and south.
  • Students and graduates from professional programmes for community development and youth work at QQI level 8/9.
What approach will be used?
While COVID-19 restrictions mean the programme must take place online, Community Work Ireland and Friends of the Earth are putting their thinking caps on and adapting the creative and participatory approaches that are the tools of the trade for youth workers and community workers. Prepare for active participation and engaged learning by doing. Participants will also have an opportunity to meet and discuss with experts and innovators who are driving exciting projects and programmes addressing the climate crisis in our communities.

What are the multiplier workshops?

As part of the programme, participants will be supported to develop and deliver a tailored training/outreach activity with the young people / in the communities where they work with. To support this, all participants who complete the course will be eligible for €150 funding to deliver a workshop.

What dates will the programme run on?

The programme will run in two cycles (covering the same content) in March and April. Sessions will run in the evening from 6.30pm-9pm (with plenty of time for screen breaks!)
  • 1st cycle - Thursdays in March - 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th March & 1st April
  • 2nd cycle – Tuesdays in April - 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th April & 4th May

Apply here:

For further information, please contact:

Emma Jayne Geraghty, Friends of the Earth:
Jamie Gorman, Community Work Ireland:

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Free Online Exercise Class for Over 55s
Starting Friday 12th March 

Healthy Galway have partnered with Siel Bleu Ireland to deliver an 8-week online exercise class for over 55’s.

Start date: Friday 12th March |  Time: 11am  |  Location: Online via Zoom

The classes will have a wide variety of exercises that will be adaptable to suit all ability levels. The Siel Bleu Ireland trainer will give seated and standing adaptations to all exercises. The types of exercises participants will be doing will be based around Strength, Balance, Aerobic, Flexibility and more. Participants will be able to use household objects to act as weights to add intensity to the workout if required.
The programme is free, but places are limited.
For more information, or to register, contact Ashling on 085 8217547 or email
Please see the poster here for your information. 

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Living Well Programme
Remaining Available Dates

Please find attached here the remaining available dates for the Living Well Programme, this spring. Living Well are finding it to be more and more valued in these continued difficult times, especially for those with long term health conditions.

For queries, please contact Bonnie King on 087-9176354 or at or visit

To understand more about the programme and what it offers please visit the link below to a recent radio:

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Threshold Housing

With Level 5 restrictions remaining in place, national housing charity, Threshold would like to remind all renters, that if you are experiencing difficulties in renting your home, Threshold continues to provide free, independent, and confidential advice and support to individuals and families via a new webchat service available on the Threshold website or the freephone helpline 1800 454 454.

Threshold’s webchat operates:
Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 5pm via

Threshold’s freephone helpline remains available
Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm at 1800 454 454.

If you have a query about rent increases, arrears, standards and repairs or ending your tenancy, contact Threshold for advice and support.
Links to Threshold's social media channels:
Instagram: @threshold_housing

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Why Youth Work Works
Video - Youth Advisory Committee, Galway

Please see below a link to a beautiful video created by the Youth Advisory Committee Galway entitled ‘Why Youth Work Works’.

The video encapsulates a series of self-taped interviews of different service users and their experiences with Youth Work.

This video was made in 2020 by the Youth Advisory Committee Galway as part of an Eu Solidarity Corps Project called 'Why Youth Work Works'.
Please see the flyer attached here on the Youth Advisory Committee Galway.

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Disability Federation of Ireland Webinar on
State Reporting Process of UNCRPD
Thursday 25th February, 2.30-3.30pm

Disability Federation of Ireland DFI will be holding a webinar on the state reporting process, and how civil society can participate in the process.
This webinar will take place this Thursday 25th of February, from 2:30 to 3:30.
Speakers will be Dr Meredith Raley of DFI and Julie Ahern of Children’s Right’s Alliance.
To register, please: You can find the current UNCRPD draft state report - here.

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AHEAD National Conference
8th April - 7th May 2021 

AHEAD’s annual international conference will take place online, over five weeks from 8th April to 7th May 2021.
This year's theme is 'Reconnection: Placing Inclusion at the heart of online learning and support'.
The event is focussed on topics of inclusive practice and universal design in FET and higher education
For details, fees and registration, please visit

AHEAD is an independent non-profit organisation working to create inclusive environments in education and employment for people with disabilities.
The main focus of our work is further education and training, higher education and graduate employment.

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Public Consultations and Surveys

Public Consultation on the process aimed at protecting marine biodiversity, sustainable economic activity and climate action

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, and the Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, launched a public consultation on the process of expanding Ireland’s network of marine protected areas (MPAs). MPAs are geographically defined maritime areas with certain protections for conservation purposes. The Government aims to expand Ireland’s MPA network from 2.13% to 30% of Ireland’s maritime area by 2030.

Creating an MPA regime will constitute a major change in marine environmental protection in Ireland. At present, there is no definition of an MPA in Irish law. Environmental protections under the Wildlife Acts only apply to the foreshore. Protection in marine areas beyond 12 nautical miles is limited, both in terms of space and species.

  • Details on the public consultation process for expanding the network of Ireland’s MPAs, can be found at The consultation will be open for over 5 months, closing at 5pm on Fri 30 July 2021.
  • This public consultation includes an online survey. People can also provide submissions by email ( or by post to:
MPA Public Consultation 2021, c/o Marine Environment,
Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Newtown, Wexford, Y35 AP90.
  • People are encouraged to promote the consultation through social media using the hashtag #LoveYourSea. The consultation campaign video is available on the Department’s Twitter account @DeptHousingIRL.

Read more here.

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Galway Sexual Health Forum 
Survey for Community and Government Organisations

The newly formed Galway Sexual Health Forum are distributing a short survey asking people working in community, health, education or any type of support or services organisation to give their opinions and perspectives on the unmet Sexual Health needs of the group/s they work with and any perceived service gaps to the Forum.

In your work you may have become aware of a problem or something a person needed that wasn't available in regard to their Sexual Health - such as information, education, resources, support, isolation, lack of services, distance to service, bullying, shame etc.

The Galway Sexual Health Forum would really appreciate you feeding this back to them for consideration in their mapping of Sexual Health services and needs in Galway city and county. 
Please find below the link to the survey on those Sexual Health needs and gaps in service provision:
This is for any organisation representatives to respond to, so if you could forward it to any other colleagues or organisations who work with young people, adults, vulnerable or community groups it would be much appreciated.
Galway Sexual Health Forum hope to complete it by the end of this month. 
Also, if you are interested in participating in the Galway Sexual Health Forum please email

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National Minimum Wage
Public Consultation

The Low Pay Commission are considering the wage rate for 2022, and are looking for your views.
See how to have your say and take part in the consultation before 7th March at

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COVID-19 Related Updates

Level 5 Will Continue until 5th April
Press Release

The current public health restrictions will remain in place until 5th April 2021, when a further review will be conducted.

The decision to extend Level 5 restrictions is difficult and will have a considerable impact on all parts of our economy and society. However, we continue to have an unacceptably high level of disease in the community, so we must continue to suppress the disease. The higher transmissibility of new variants requires all other restrictions to remain in place while these initial services reopen.

This cautious, measured approach is being taken in order to:

  • Make steady progress, starting with childcare and schools, while avoiding a further wave of disease and re-imposition of restrictions
  • Protect the most vulnerable by an efficient rollout of the vaccination programme
  • Remain vigilant and agile regarding the uncertainties in the face of new variants and to capitalise on emerging evidence on available vaccines
  • Lay the foundations for the full recovery of social life, public services and the economy
Read the Press Release here.

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COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021 - The Path Ahead

The Government has published the updated COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021 - The Path Ahead (download here).

On February 23rd, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin stated: 
"Within this document we set out what we have learned over the course of the last year and explain where we go from here. Essentially, to open up our country safely, we need to keep the numbers of new infections low, and accelerate the vaccination programme in line with improving supply.

The way forward is broadly split into two phases – the situation up to the 5th April, and the period after 5th April. Between now and 5th April, Ireland will remain within Level 5 restrictions. However, there will be three very importantdifferences between the coming 6 weeks and the Level 5 period we have just been through."
Read the press release here.

The government has today decided to facilitate the safe return of in-school education and childcare services on a cautious and phased basis during March and April.

This will be alongside the scaling up of the vaccination programme in line with supply, ensuring that all vaccine doses are administered to target groups as soon as possible.

The current public health restrictions will remain in place until 5 April 2021, when a further review will be conducted.

Measures to support business and those unable to work due to the pandemic will be extended further.

The impact of these restrictions on the economic, physical and mental well-being of our communities is considerable. An additional €10 million in funding will be made available to meet the increase for mental health services, and a further top-up of €10 million will be made available to enable critical services to continue being delivered to vulnerable groups.
Find further details here.

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Vaccine Allocation Strategy Update
Press Release

The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD has announced an update to Ireland’s COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Strategy.
The Government approved the Provisional Vaccine Allocation Strategy on 8 December last year. It was noted at the time that the Strategy would be kept under review and amended as a result of changes to existing evidence and/or the epidemiological situation.


  • The proposed changes to the Vaccination Allocation Strategy are consistent with the overall aim of the vaccination programme which is to reduce morbidity and mortality, thereby protecting the healthcare system.
  • Those aged 16-69 with a medical condition that puts them at very-high risk of severe disease and death will be Cohort 4 and be vaccinated directly after those aged ≥70 and living in the community.
  • Cohort 5 will consist of those aged between 65 and 69 whose underlying condition puts them at a high risk of severe disease and death.
  • Cohort 6 will comprise those aged 65-69. They will be vaccinated alongside healthcare workers who are not in a patient facing role. Key workers essential to the vaccine programme will also be included in this cohort.
  • Cohort 7 will consist of those aged 16-64 who have an underlying condition that puts them at high risk of severe disease and death.

This is the provisional order in which people in Ireland will be vaccinated against COVID-19.

1    People aged 65 years and older who are residents of long-term care facilities (likely to include all staff and residents on site)
2 Frontline healthcare workers
3 People aged 70 and older
4 People aged 16-69 with a medical condition that puts them at very high risk of severe disease and death
5 People aged 65-69 whose underlying condition puts them at a high risk of severe disease and death
6 Other people aged 65-69, other healthcare workers not in direct patient contact, and key workers essential to the vaccine programme
7 People aged 16-64 who have an underlying condition that puts them at high risk of severe disease and death
8 Residents of long-term care facilities aged 18-64
9 People aged 18-64 living or working in crowded settings
10 Key workers in essential jobs who cannot avoid a high risk of exposure
11 People working in education sector
12 People aged 55-64
13 Other workers in occupations important to the functioning of society
14 Other people aged 18-54
15       People aged under 18 and pregnant women

Read more at the links below:

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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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