In September 2017 the Transition Year students at Mary Immaculate Secondary School Lisdoonvarna embarked on a project to show what a sustainable local economy might look like in a thriving Lisdoonvarna.
They took a one day trip to Cloughjordan Ecovillage where they had a tour of the local bakery, visited the community farm, ate local food and met with a local enterprise panel for questions and answers. They were introduced to the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs and considered where the local economy can address these goals. Their project addresses Climate Action, Sustainable Community, Responsible Consumption and Production and more.
When the students returned they set about creating a vision for Lisdoonvarna. They built and decorated 4 shop fronts to replicate what Lisdoonvarna could look like in 2030.
The original plan was to decorate some derelict businesses or central location so that the shops may be visualised as part of the local economy. In the absence of either locations they were given the use of the Pavillion Town Hall which turned out to be an excellent change of plan. The shops now line the entrance lobby. This venue is used frequently for large events attracting people from all over the country and further. 2 days after the project launch the Burren Food Fayre was hosted and visitors were delighted with the project. Approximately 500 attended and it generated a lot of discussion about local economy and sustainable development. As well as being a venue for meetings and events Bingo is held there every Thursday evening and the Youth club every Friday evening. Both of these groups attract people from across the north of the county.
To launch the vision members of Clares Economic Strategic Policy Committee were invited as well as specific guests involved in economic development around the county who could encourage and advise the young people. The guests viewed the shop fronts and spoke with the students. They had an opportunity to address them all later on and each guest gave the students feedback as well as an overview of their role in supporting entrepreneurs in the county. You can find more photos of the project here.
This project was funded by the European Union through ALDA – Association of Local Democracy Agencies under the LADDER project – Local Authorities as Drivers for Development Education and Awareness Raising. It is administered in Ireland by Donegal County Council. The grant was acquired by Lisdoonvarna Tidy Towns to facilitate the creation of a tangible vision as part of the ongoing Sustainable Community Planning process. Below are the dedicated teaching team with some of the officials: Mr Burke, Mr Sims, Ms Hynes vice principal, Mr O’Loughlin principal, Leonard Cleary and Padraic McElwee.
Thank you to everyone involved in making this project such a great success.
Theresa O’Donohoe November 20th 2017.