10th 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
  • Public Consultation on Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan: 22 Feb - read here
  • Well-Being Framework for Ireland - read here
  • Launch of “Period Poverty in Ireland” Report - read here
  • Webinar: Social Enterprise Development Fund - read here
  • Arts Council Funding Opportunities for 2021 - read here
Programmes and Initiatives  
  • Libraries Ireland | Ireland Reads - read here
  • Learning Skills to Cope With Stress - read here
  • MY VOICE MATTERS: Views and Experiences of LGBTI+ Mental Health Service Users - read here

COVID-19 Related Updates

  • Press Release: Ireland’s COVID-19 Response - read here
  • Measures to Enforce Temporary Travel Restrictions - read here
  • TIME TO CARE: Phone Befriending Programme - read here
  • Supporting Children Campaign - 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 by during February as seen below. Read more here.

  Meeting                      Time Link
  Economic Development,
Employment and Enterprise
Wednesday, 10th February
6pm – 7.20pm 
Register Here
  Transport and Sustainable Mobility Thursday, 11th February
6pm – 7.20pm 
Register Here
  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
Planning SPC 16th February Read more here
Galway Sports Partnership 17th February Read more here
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

Public Consultation on Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan
Submissions Until 22 February 2021

The Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform, Michael McGrath TD, is seeking views on the development of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) that will enable Ireland to access funding under the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

Ireland is expected to receive €853 million in grants under the Facility in 2021 and 2022. A further set of grants is to be allocated in 2023, taking into account economic developments between now and then.

In order to access this funding, Ireland must develop a National Recovery and Resilience Plan for approval by the European Union. The Plan must set out the reforms and investments to be supported by the Facility and must be submitted to the European Commission no later than 30 April 2021.

A public consultation process has now commenced and a consultation document has been published on The consultation process will run until 5pm on 22 February 2021.

GCCN will hold a meeting with all interested members to contribute to the GCCN Submission on Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan.
Further details on this meeting will be circulated shortly.

For individual submissions please email before February 22nd.

When responding, please indicate if you are a business, business professional, adviser, representative body or member of the public.

For details:

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Well-Being Framework for Ireland

The Government has agreed on an approach to begin work on an overarching Well-being Framework for Ireland. A Framework for Wellbeing is a way of establishing a well-rounded, holistic view of how our society is performing, alongside the existing economic measurement tools. The Framework will be used across Government to inform policy-making, complementing existing tools for policy analysis.
Read more here.

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Launch of “Period Poverty in Ireland” Report

the Department of Health and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth have jointly launched a report which examines the prevalence and impact of period poverty in Ireland.

The report acknowledges the potential adverse consequences of period poverty which can include exclusion from activities of daily living during menstruation and physical and mental impacts from both exclusion and the use of unsuitable period products.

It sets out a number of recommendations regarding strengthening the evidence base, addressing the stigma associated with periods, engaging with vulnerable groups and the voluntary sector organisations that support them, considering the provision of free period products on the grounds of gender equity, and developing a systems approach and co-ordinated funding mechanisms across Government to progress cross-sectoral mitigation of period poverty.

The key recommendations of the Report are as follows:

  • Strengthening the Evidence Base; gathering more data through surveys, studies and focus groups to provide a comprehensive and reliable evidence base regarding the prevalence of period poverty in Ireland;
  • Addressing stigma; associated with periods by the provision of diverse information resources;
  • Helping those clearly in need; by engaging with the most vulnerable groups, for example, the homeless, those living with active addiction, those in various forms of long-term State accommodation, and minority ethnic communities including Travellers and Roma, to ensure that they can obtain an adequate supply of period products in a stigma-free manner. This could include engaging with charities and with food banks serving vulnerable cohorts to ensure that they have an adequate supply of period products for clients.
  • Continue with negotiations at EU level to give greater flexibility to Member States to allow for lower VAT rates on newer and more sustainable period products (in Ireland, tampons and sanitary towels are 0% VAT rated at present).
  • Gender equity considerations and period product provision; considering the provision of products on gender equity grounds in public buildings and facilities providing State-funded services.
  • Implementation, funding and evaluation: considering the development of a systems based, cross-Governmental approach and co-ordinated funding mechanisms to address period poverty in a co-ordinated way across Government and the wider public sector.

Read more here.

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Social Enterprise Development Fund Webinar
Friday, 12th February, 11am

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

On Friday, 12th February 2021, at 11am, Rethink Ireland will be holding a webinar to provide an overview of the Fund. The webinar will cover what applicants can expect if they apply, share tips on how to write great applications and hear from past Awardees. Attendees can register in advance here

Rethink Ireland are also hosting two virtual ‘drop-in’ Application Clinics on Friday 19th February at 1pm and Friday 26th February at 1pm.

Please find an invite to the webinar here.

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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 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.

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Programmes and Initiatives

Libraries Ireland | Ireland Reads 

On Thursday, 25th February Libraries Ireland are inviting people of all ages to get reading.

Why? Because taking some time for yourself to relax and do the things you enjoy (like reading) is important to help look after your mental wellbeing.
One minute, ten minutes, an hour, or more – it doesn’t matter how long you read for, the important thing is that you read and enjoy the feeling of getting lost in a book.
Check back HERE soon for more information on how you can get involved.
Ireland Reads is a public libraries initiative, in partnership with publishers, booksellers, authors and others under the Government’s 'Keep Well' campaign.
In the meantime, you can always join the library online (if you're not a member already) and download eBooks, audiobooks, magazines and newspapers right now.

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Learning Skills to Cope With Stress
Mental Health Workshop

Learning Skills to Cope With Stress is a 6-week online group that offers skills to help cope with stress.
The first meeting will be held on Wednesday, 17th February from 7pm – 8pm and it will be facilitated by Dr. Ger McNamara, Clinical Psychologist working in adult mental health. Ger has a special interest in LGBTQ+ affirmative therapy, both in clinical practice and research.
For further details and to register, contact
Download the flyer here.

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Views and Experiences of LGBTI+ Mental Health Service Users

Call for Focus Group Participants

MY VOICE MATTERS: Views and Experiences of LGBTI+ Mental Health Service Users is a project being undertaken to gain insights into the lived experiences of LGBTI+ people using mental health services in Ireland. If you are 18 or over, have used mental health services in the last 2 years, and are willing to take part in an online focus group between 15th and 24th February, Mental Health Reform and LGBT Ireland would love to hear from you. Learn more at
Mental Health Reform and LGBT Ireland are collaborating on this research to produce a set of recommendations on how service delivery can be improved to better meet the needs of LGBTI+ people. These will be used by both organisations in a campaigning and advocacy for LGBTI+ rights, so it’s a great opportunity for anyone who wants to have their voice heard on LGBTI+ mental health.

Mental Health Reform and LGBT Ireland want to hear people who identify as LGBTI+, are 18 or over, and have used mental health services in the last 2 years
What is it about?
Mental Health Reform and LGBT Ireland are documenting and analysing the lived experiences of LGBTI+ mental health service users in Ireland. This will be done through a series of focus groups in February 2021, with initial results being published in the Spring of 2021.
Mental Health Reform and LGBT Ireland aim to gain insights that will inform their campaigns and advocacy work for better mental health services.
What will happen if I decide to take part?
You will talk to Mental Health Reform and LGBT Ireland about your views and experiences of using mental health services. This will be done online in a focus group with 4 to 6 other people and 2 Mental Health Reform researchers.
Our promise – Confidentiality
As far as possible, Mental Health Reform and LGBT Ireland will make the information given to them anonymous. Names and identifying information like place names, etc. will either be deleted or changed in all publications, presentations, campaigns and other outputs from this research.
My Voice Matters (2019)
This is a follow-on study from the My Voice Matters Project (2019), a national consultation that gathered feedback through surveys with mental health service users and their family members, friends, and carers. Find the full report at:
More details:
Contact Yvonne Murphy at or 01 874 9468 / 089 2549725

Download the flyer here.

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COVID-19 Related Updates

Ireland’s COVID-19 Response
Press Release

On January 30th 2020, the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Since that time, COVID-19 has had a significant effect on Ireland’s public health. The measures we have had to take individually and collectively to protect against further transmission have had a major impact on each one of us and on the wider social and economic functioning of the whole country. But we have hope for a different future in which vaccines are a key part of our public health response. Vaccines will help to protect against the severe effects of SARS-CoV-2 virus and protect the most vulnerable in our population. In time we are hopeful that the evidence will show that they also help to prevent people who have this infection from passing it on to other people.

It is beyond any expectations we had when the first case of this infection was reported in Ireland on 29th February last, that within one year we would have multiple vaccines developed, tested and being made available to our population. It is an immense scientific and public health achievement.

Last week, the European Medicines Agency authorised a third vaccine, made by AstraZeneca, for distribution. This is in addition to the first two vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna of which more than 220,000 doses have been administered in Ireland. Unlike AstraZeneca, these are mRNA vaccines so called because of the manner in which they work. More vaccines will be authorised in the coming weeks and months, providing us with further options for protection against COVID-19.

Read the press release here.

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Measures to Enforce Temporary Travel Restrictions
3rd February 2021

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, signed regulations that will introduce a system of mandatory quarantine for arrivals into the State. These regulations apply since midnight 3rd February 2021.

The regulations give effect to the recent Government decision to implement a regime for mandatory quarantine at home.

Under these regulations, passengers who arrive from any destination must quarantine for 14 days at the address specified on their Passenger Locator Form, with penalties for non-compliance. These penalties are a fine of up to €2,500 or 6 months in prison, or both.
Read more here.

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Phone Befriending Programme

Time to Care is a phone befriending programme which reaches out to older adults who are feeling isolated during the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. The programme is delivered by trained volunteers who will:

  • Develop a friendly and supportive relationship.
  • Provide telephone support to alleviate loneliness and social isolation and help to build and support confidence and wellbeing.
  • Engage in conversation around creating a healthy routine which contributes to wellbeing.

If someone you know would be interested in a regular chat over the phone with a trusted volunteer, please feel free to call COPE Galway on our Helpline 085 87 67 785 and they will set this up.
Please see further information in the file here.

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Supporting Children Campaign

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) will shortly be re-launching the Supporting Children campaign in light of intensified COVID-19 restrictions. Supporting Children is a campaign developed by DCEDIY to support vulnerable children, young people, and their families in challenging times. It was first launched on 19 June 2020, highlighting the range of services and supports in place and the innovative responses this sector was making to meet the needs of vulnerable groups across a range of service areas, from Child Protection and Welfare to Education Support, Parenting and Family Support, and others.
The campaign is designed with two purposes. It encourages all of us to look out for vulnerable children whose lives and supports have been severely disrupted during the current pandemic. It also spotlights our Supporting Children website, pointing to a wide range of information detailing supports for children, young people and families across six key areas. This information campaign has been updated based on service user feedback from the initial phase. We are also working with Tusla to ensure the campaign information is presented in an accessible and useful format. Supporting Children is funded under What Works ( The campaign recognises the serious impacts both the pandemic and associated restrictions are having on the most vulnerable in our society and aims to demonstrate and harness the available supports that are in place.

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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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