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Minister Joe O’Brien visits community initiatives in Roscommon

Minister Joe O’Brien visits community initiatives in Roscommon

  • An opportunity to see community development projects in Co. Roscommon.

Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Social Protection is visiting projects and community initiatives supported by his Departments in Co Roscommon on Friday 29 April.

The Minister’s visit started in the Old Schoolhouse in Ballaghaderreen where he launched Roscommon Partnership’s Strategic plan.

The Minister said:

“I am pleased to launch Roscommon Partnership’s Strategic Plan, which lays out what will not doubt be excellent work done by the Partnership in future years. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all those working with the Partnership for all the extra work and effort during the pandemic, and the current response to the arrival of those from Ukraine.”

The Minister then visited the family resource centre in the Old Schoolhouse building, which is supported by the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP), and provides support to local families.

Following this Minister O’ Brien opened a new Childcare Centre nearby which will provide childcare for families living in the community, which was renovated with the assistance of the Rural Social Scheme.

Opening the new Childcare Centre, Minister O’Brien said:

“I am delighted to open this new Childcare Centre which will provide much needed affordable childcare to families living in the community. I’d like to thank those working with the Rural Social Scheme for their initiative and resourcefulness in renovating this building to enable families to avail of this service”


The next stop in the Minister’s itinerary was at the Ukrainian refugee reception centre in Donamon, which is providing services to arrivals from the Ukraine and supported by the SICAP Programme, where the Minister met a number of new arrivals from Ukraine.

“It is heartening to see the warm welcome that is being shown to arrivals to this community from the Ukraine, and I commend the resourcefulness of these organisations in providing services. I ask that we all continue to extend this warm welcome and pull together to provide assistance and services to our friends from the Ukraine”

Minister O’Brien then went on to Castlecoote, where he met members of Castlecoote Tidy Towns who demonstrated the important impact that their biodiversity plan is having on the village. The Minister launched two projects funded by EU ERASMUS+ focusing on the circular economy and biodiversity.

The Minister said:

“Biodiversity and circular economy are more important now than ever. It is fantastic to see local projects like this which enrich the local environment. I hope to see many more similar projects nationwide.”

Speaking about his visit to Roscommon, Minister O’Brien concluded:

It is fantastic to visit Roscommon and to see the great work that these communities carry out with support of the Departments of Rural and Community Development and Social Protection, as well as broader Government.”

“One job of Government is to support communities so that they can develop to become vibrant and inclusive. The projects I have visited demonstrate the resourcefulness of communities in developing solutions to improve their areas and enhance the quality of community life.”




The Department of Rural and Community Development Press Office

01-773 6843 / 086-4618285


Photographs by Ger O’ Loughlin


Notes to editor


Tús scheme is an employment support measures for long-term unemployed people and other people in receipt of long-term payments from the Department of Social Protection.

The scheme employ participants to deliver a range of services to local communities throughout the country. These include local amenities management, environmental projects, arts and culture, sports, childcare, TidyTowns, health-related services, meals on wheels and drug rehabilitation schemes.

Rural Social Scheme (RSS)

RSS is an income support initiative providing part-time employment opportunities in community and voluntary organisations for farmers or fishermen in receipt of certain social welfare payments and underemployed in their primary occupation.


Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP)

SICAP assists both individuals and groups through a two-pronged approach; supporting communities and supporting individuals. SICAP target groups include; children and families living in disadvantaged areas, lone parents, new communities (including refugees/asylum seekers), people living in disadvantaged communities, people with disabilities, Roma, the unemployed (including those not on the Live Register), travellers, and young unemployed people living in disadvantaged areas.


Community Development Pilot Programme (CDP)

  • The aim of this pilot programme is to trial community led interventions that address poverty, social exclusion and inequality, and promote human rights. It is also a commitment under the Programme for Government.
  • The seven successful projects under the Community Development Programme were announced on 24 June 2021. A list of the organisations and the themes of the projects are as follows:

Organisation Name



Donegal Intercultural Platform



Clare Local Development Company



Inner City Organisations Network


Women, poverty, housing

Kilkenny Community Traveller Movement


Traveller Supports

Longford Community Resources



Cultur Migrant Centre

Meath, Louth


Independent Living Movement Ireland


Disabled persons


Roscommon Partnership

Roscommon Partnership is one of 49 Local Development Companies in Ireland.  It is a multi-sectoral partnership that delivers a range of programmes on behalf of local and national government, focused on enhancing the quality of life for disadvantaged individuals and communities.

It provides an integrated range of programmes covering employment and community supports, enterprise grants, social inclusion, training, wellbeing and environmental supports through the delivery of SICAP, LEADER, Tús, RSS, CE programmes, in partnership with Roscommon LCDC, Meath County Council, DSP and HSE.


TidyTowns is an annual competition, first held in 1958, organised by the Department of Rural and Community Development in order to honour the tidiest and most attractive cities, towns and villages in the Republic of Ireland. The competition is organised on a national basis, and entrants must complete modules including Overall Developmental Approach (5 Year Plan), The Built Environment, Landscaping, Wildlife & Natural Amenities, Litter Control, Tidiness, Waste Minimisation, Residential Areas, Roads and Streets & Back Areas.


Erasmus+ is the EU's programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe.

It has an estimated budget of €26.2 billion. This is nearly double the funding compared to its predecessor programme (2014-2020).

The 2021-2027 programme places a strong focus on social inclusion, the green and digital transitions, and promoting young people’s participation in democratic life.

It supports priorities and activities set out in the European Education Area, Digital Education Action Plan and the European Skills Agenda. The programme also

  • supports the European Pillar of Social Rights
  • implements the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027
  • develops the European dimension in sport