27th January 2021

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

GCCN Network News

  • GCCN Galway City Development Plan 2023-2029 Townhalls - read here
  • Social Enterprise Development Fund 2021 - read here
  • LGBTI+ Support Fund to be Launched - read here
Programmes and Initiatives
  • Western Region Drug & Alcohol Taskforce - Upcoming Training- read here
  • Free Webinar: Effective Advocacy in a Time of Covid - read here
  • Heart Failure Support Programme - read here
  • Reconnect to your Heritage and your Heart - JCI Galway Wellness Webinar- read here
  • Read Together: Online Book Clubs- read here
  • Poetry Ireland to host a Poemathon with Older People - read here
  • The Wildlife of Ireland Map: Online learning resource for primary school children- read here
  • Website: Archive Local Stories From The Waterside - read here
  • REPORT: Delivering Deliberative Democracy- Participation by the Public Participation Networks in Government Decision-making- read here

COVID-19 Related Updates

  • Message from Covid-19 Stakeholder Communications Support: 25th Jan - read here
  • Level 5 Restrictions to Remain Until 5 March - read here
  • FINAL REMINDER: COVID-19 Emergency Fund (2nd Round)- 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 Updates

GCCN Galway City Development Plan 2023-2029 Townhalls

Dates and Registration

All GCCN members are invited to participate in the thematic Townhall meetings held by GCCN remotely during February as seen in the table below.

This will be the first opportunity for the community to have their say on their priorities for the new City Development Plan 2023-2029 during the Pre-Draft Public Consultation process.

1 Climate Action Wednesday, 3rd February
6pm - 7pm 
Register Here
2 Community, Culture and Education Thursday, 4th February
6pm - 7pm 
Register Here
3 Green Network and Biodiversity Monday, 8th February
6pm - 7pm 
Register Here
Population Growth and Housing
Tuesday, 9th February
6pm - 7pm 
Register Here
5 Economic Development,
Employment and Enterprise
Wednesday, 10th February
6pm - 7pm 
Register Here
6 Transport and Sustainable Mobility Thursday, 11th February
6pm - 7pm 
Register Here
7 Energy and Infrastructure Thursday, 18th February
6pm - 7pm 
Register Here
8 Built Environment and Placemaking Sustainable Neighbourhoods Monday, 22nd February
6pm - 7pm 
Register Here
9 Older People and 
People with Disabilities
TBC Date To Be Confirmed

The one-hour GCCN Townhalls will reflect the thematic areas to be covered by the City Development Plan and will allow people to choose the area that interests them while also keeping the discussions focused.

To maximise the quality of the input shared, the attendees are invited to review the Townhalls Checklist -here prior to each meeting.

Please note that the meetings are open to all GCCN members and other interested members, but please remember to register!

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Social Enterprise Development Fund 2021
  • The Social Enterprise Development is a €3.2 Million Fund running from 2018-2022
  • €400,000 in cash grants will be made available as well as additional  business supports
  • Rethink Ireland CEO calls social enterprises ‘critical’ to a just social and economic recovery from Covid-19 pandemic

€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 which was officially launched. 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.

Social enterprises are businesses that work primarily to improve the lives of people. Their core objective is to achieve a social, societal, or environmental impact. Like other businesses, Social enterprises pursue their objectives by trading in goods and services on an ongoing basis. However, surpluses generated by social enterprises are re-invested into achieving their core social objectives.

The Social Enterprise Development Fund was created by Rethink Ireland in 2018 in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and funded by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development through the Dormant Accounts Fund.

Since the Fund’s foundation in 2018, the Fund has supported 40 social enterprises with cash grants and business supports and a further 38 through their Genesis & Accelerator Programmes. It has enabled social enterprises to support 681 people to access employment, (the majority of whom are from minority groups) and mobilise 2430 volunteers.

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.


Commenting, Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities at the Department of Rural and Community Development, Joe O’Brien TD, said: “The Social Enterprise Development Fund plays an important role in supporting social enterprises who are making a positive difference to their communities. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have all been reminded of the importance of strong communities. The Social Enterprise Development Fund 2021 will help to grow Ireland’s strong and vibrant social enterprise sector.”

CEO of Rethink Ireland Deirdre Mortell, said: “Rethink Ireland is delighted to open applications for the Social Enterprise Development Fund for 2021. Social enterprises are at the heart of addressing Ireland’s greatest social challenges and strengthening communities. We believe they are playing a vital role in this pandemic and will play an even more critical role as we recover from the crisis.

“Social enterprises employ people who would typically be considered far from the labour market, produce ethical and sustainable products and / or provide vital local services at more affordable rates than the private sector. They can and will contribute to a just economic, social and sustainable recovery and we are calling on social enterprises across Ireland to apply to our fund.”

George Jones, Chairman & Group Non-Executive Director IPB Insurance said, “We are delighted to support Rethink Ireland and our Local Authority Members for the fourth year of the combined €3.2m Social Enterprise Development Fund.  This initiative aims to provide critical support to the very best social enterprises across Ireland. Last year we were thrilled to support a social enterprise in every local authority area in the country for the first time and we are again encouraging social enterprises in every county to apply to this year’s Fund.”

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LGBTI+ Support Fund to be Launched
The Community Foundation for Ireland

A new fund to support the LGBTI+ community in Ireland is set to be announced at Dublin’s online Winter Pride event. The Community Foundation for Ireland, which has provided some €1m in funding to LGBTI+ groups over the last 21 years, said it is re-invigorating its support for the community to ensure that supports are available for young people, mental health and wellbeing as well as equality in the aftermath of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the National LGBT+ Traveller and Roma Action Group has published its first calendar, featuring the details of important mental health support services.
Read more in Irish Business Focus and Irish Examiner

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Programmes and Initiatives

Western Region Drug & Alcohol Taskforce
Upcoming Training

On January 26th at 12pm Western Region Drug & Alcohol Taskforce WRDATF are starting their Short Webinar series for 2021 with Covid 19 and the Drugs Market (30 minutes). This can be booked on the training calendar link here:
Also, in February WRDATF will be running the following:

  • Putting the Pieces Together (6 x 2hr sessions starting Feb 3rd)
  • Using Motivational Interviewing Online/Phone (4 x 2.5hr sessions starting Feb 4th)
  • February Short Webinar: New Psychoactive Substance (NPS) on February 23rd @ 11am

To book a place or find out more about these, click the following link:  
Additionally, Irish Community Action on Alcohol Network ICAAN, of which WRDATF are a member of, are running a 1hr webinar on Alcohol Use as a Response to Childhood Trauma on January 29th at 9.30am. To register for this webinar click the following link:

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Free Webinar: Effective Advocacy in a Time of Covid 

You are invited to a Free Webinar on Effective Advocacy in a Time of Covid on January 29th from 8.30 am – 9.30 am delivered by Colette Kelleher and Kathleen O’Meara.
A survey published by PRII late last year found that not-for-profits have had the lowest level of access of any group, to decision-makers, during the pandemic.
Are you finding it more difficult to engage in advocacy in this time of Covid?
Join the webinar at the link:

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Heart Failure Support Programme
Irish Heart Foundation

The Irish Heart Foundation has recently launched a new Heart Failure Support Programme.
Now, more than ever, Irish Heart Foundation are aware that patients need these types of support and with 90,000 people in Ireland living with Heart Failure it is crucial to spread the word as wide as possible.
This support service for Heart Failure patients includes monthly information sessions with expert speakers, a 7 episode informational podcast series, a peer to peer support closed Facebook group (Heart Support Network), monthly newsletters, a nurse Support Line for any medical queries and counselling sessions.


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Reconnect to your Heritage and your Heart
JCI Galway Wellness Webinar

JCI Galway are running a free wellness webinar this Friday 29th from 6.30-7.30pm
The Zoom registration link is below for anyone interested: 

The webinar will be facilitated by Diarmaid Mulcahy who is a trainer and facilitator of Heartfulness Meditation also certified in a number of therapies techniques.

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Read Together
Online Book Clubs

The new online book club "Read Together" has had so much interest that instead of one book club Galway Library now have 3!

The online book clubs are almost completely full, with just a few spaces left in the 1pm one.

To reserve a place or for further information, please email

Please mention your preferred time when signing up.
The meetings will be hosted monthly via Zoom.

Membership is free but booking is essential

This event is hosted in partnership with Galway City Council

Poetry Ireland to host a Poemathon with Older People

Poetry Ireland with the Global Brain Health Institute (Trinity College Dublin) and Neuroscience Ireland is inviting older people across the island of Ireland to write a line of poetry for a Poemathon with Older People. The contributions will be combined to form a longer poem that captures the thoughts and imaginings of older people right now in society.

John Sheahan, one of Ireland’s best-known musicians and member of The Dubliners, has penned the opening line of the poem: “Intrepid intruder, stalker of unwashed hands”. He will also be contributing the final line of the poem, which will be curated and edited by poet and editor Seamus Cashman.

Entries can be submitted until 5pm on Friday 12th February on the Poetry Ireland website.
Further details are at the link:
One lucky entrant will be drawn at random to receive a book bundle comprising of titles from Poetry Ireland and Trinity College Dublin.

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The Wildlife of Ireland Map
Online learning resource for primary school children

Libraries Ireland have launched the Wildlife of Ireland Map, a new online learning resource for primary school children.
Children can learn how to spot wildlife in their 5km and take a virtual nature walk across Ireland.
Check it out at

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A New Website Will Archive Local Stories From The Waterside 

The Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) will launch a new website dedicated to Stories from the waterside.  This will take place during an online event on 02 February at 7pm. 
Anyone can attend by simply registering either at or

Stories from the waterside was a writing competition held last May during Lockdown. LAWPRO received almost 500 stories from across the island of Ireland and even further afield from Irish living abroad. A story called ‘In Days Gone By’ written by Alanna Larkin from county Galway about Lough Derg will it be recorded on this new website.  

This new website will archive all those stories, celebrating local connections with Ireland's magical waters. It will also be a platform to record any stories about water received in the future.  

Some authors will read their stories at this informal event hosted by popular radio presenter Jim Finn. There will be conversations about the background to the stories and people’s connections with local water bodies and nature. The event will also mark World Wetlands Day 2021. 

Stories from the waterside was a collaboration between LAWPRO (Local Authority Waters Programme), The Heritage Council and the Heritage Officer Programme, Waterways Ireland, and Inland Fisheries Ireland.

For further details and to register for the event, visit or Facebook @LAWPROteam and Twitter @watersprogramme.
See the event flyer here.

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Delivering Deliberative Democracy
Participation by the Public Participation Networks in
Government Decision-making

Social Justice Ireland have recently launched the report Delivering Deliberative Democracy - Participation by the Public Participation Networks in Government Decision-making following extensive research led to capture how the various PPN stakeholders engaged in the participation processes ‘on the ground’.

A survey, based on the scale of participation set out in the Council of Europe’s Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the Decision-Making Process and the Council of Europe Guidelines for Civil Participation in Political Decision-making, was developed by Social Justice Ireland and circulated to PPN Workers, Representatives and Local Authority staff who engage with Committees and Boards at Local Authority level across Ireland.

To read the full report please visit the Social Justice Ireland website here.

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COVID-19 Related Updates

Message from Covid-19 Stakeholder Communications Support
25th January 2021

Dear Colleague,
We are grateful 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.

Self-isolation and restricted movements
You can watch the latest self-isolation and restricted movements ad here. We would be grateful for help in sharing this important information. 

COVID-19 Vaccination Programme
The vaccination programme continues to be rolled out nationwide, and we have administered a total of 121,900 Covid-19 vaccines (up to 20th January). The COVID-19 vaccination programme will be further accelerated as vaccines arrive, and it will involve a national partnership with GPs, Pharmacists and other healthcare professionals across Ireland.   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:

Keep Well Resilience Campaign
The cross-Government community resilience campaign co-ordinated by Healthy Ireland and funded by Slaintecare is continuing across the months of January, February and in to March. Updates can be found on
The Keep Well campaign is sponsoring Operation Transformation this year. The programme goes out at 9.30 on Wednesday nights on RTE 1 TV and will be on air until the end of February. Operation Transformation is a TV series on RTE 1 encouraging the Irish public to get healthy. Over the course of the show it gives the nation the tools they need to eat well and maintain and improve their physical and mental health. This year Operation Transformation aims to help people find ways of getting and staying healthier in body and mind while living with Covid restrictions. Previous episodes can be found on the RTE Player
European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week
European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week runs from 18-24 January 2021. Our messages during this week will continue to highlight that HPV cervical screening is the best way to see if someone is at risk of developing cervical cancer in the future. Due to the large number of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, it may take longer for some people to get a cervical screening appointment. But people should still check the register on HSE's Cervicalcheck page and if they are due an appointment, to book one with a provider, even if it’s a few weeks away.
Posters and Guides:
  • Stay at Home posters
  • Isolation quick guide: applying to those aged greater than 3 months and up to 13th birthday
  • Isolation quick guide: adults and children from their 13th birthday
  • New testing and self-isolation requirements for incoming travelers, including healthcare workers, to Ireland from Great Britain, South Africa and Brazil
  • Cleaning guidance for use in non-healthcare settings: General cleaning principles, and cleaning guidance when a person with COVID-19 has been in a setting
  • COVID-19 web page for staff working in residential care settingsIf you deliver care to older people in a residential care setting, please check out the new webpage: has been set up as a central point of contact for residential care facilities to access up to date clinical guidance, information and links to inform care and supports in these settings.

Public Health Information Links
As always, for the most up to date information and advice on Coronavirus, please go to: ;
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.
Please also check the Healthy Ireland site here with further resources and information on the Keep Well campaign.
Ireland’s COVID-19 Data Hub is available here.
Many thanks for your continued support,
COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement

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Level 5 Restrictions to Remain Until 5 March
The Cabinet sub-committee on coronavirus has agreed that the current Level 5 restrictions will remain in place until 5 March.
Ministers also agreed to work towards reopening schools incrementally in the coming weeks, starting with special education.
The committee also signed off on mandatory quarantine for those travelling into the country without a negative PCR test, as well as passengers from “high-risk areas” such as South Africa and Brazil.
Meanwhile, Government figures show that by Sunday evening there had been 143,000 Covid vaccines administered across Ireland, slightly ahead of the target of 140,000.
Read more on the Government website here or at the links below: 
Irish Times   Irish Examiner   The Journal   Irish Examiner

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COVID-19 Emergency Fund (2nd Round)

Galway City Community Network is pleased to have worked with the Galway City Council and the LCDC to facilitate an information webinar on the 2nd round of COVID-19 Emergency Funding on the 18th of January 2021.


Applications are invited under the 2nd round of COVID-19 Emergency Funding within the Galway City Administrative area from community groups/organisations.
The closing date for applications is Friday, 5th February 2021 at 4.00pm.

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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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