Local Authority Programme Previous Events

Local Authority Programme Previous Events

Place Shaping

Death By Nostaligic Sentiment or a New Narrative for Rural Ireland?

The third and final conference of the series of events dedicated to rural Ireland took place on the 26th of September at the Ballymascanlon Hotel, Dundalk.

This 1 day conference provided a timely opportunity for dialogue and debate on the future of rural Ireland, particularly our rural towns and villages, whilst looking at experiences and best practice at a regional and international level. This event considered the current nuances in rural policy and practice, and the imperatives of framing a new narrative for rural Ireland- without losing the ‘essence’ of place. It further emphasised that a shared challenge for central, regional and local government, together with rural communities, is to co-create vibrant, rural societies that embrace increasingly diverse rural economies and are sustainable into the future. As with previous events in this series, it recognised that framing the future of Rural Ireland requires a cross-disciplinary dialogue that has regard to the realities of 21st Century living, and the impact of this on both the built and natural environment. 

Download the brochure and seminar programme here.

Download presentations from the day: Eugene Cummins (Roscommon County Council)Prof. Des McCafferty (University of Limerick),Dr. Karen Keaveney (University College Dublin)Colm McQuillan (Northern Ireland Housing Executive)Kevin Murray (Director of Kevin Murray Associates)Pippa Coutts (Carnegie UK Trust;)Caroline Creamer (ICLRD)Dr. David Meredith (Teagasc), and Conor Skehan (Technological Univeristy Dublin).

Planning: Capacity Building Study Visit to Roscommon County Council

On Thursday, 23 November 2018 Roscommon County Council hosted a capacity building study visit which was attended by elected representatives and civil servants working in the area of planning across Northern Ireland.  The study visit outlined the planning context, the benefits of local area plans, the barriers to planning implementation and recent developments such as the National Planning Framework.

Download the brochure, which contains the agenda and information on the all the speakers.

Planning: Rural Society in Transition

This seminar took place on Thursday, 26th April 2018 in Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk, Co. Louth with the aim to begin an all-island conversation on the interventions required to sustain rural societies across Ireland…and not only sustain but build vibrant rural communities. This event considered the broader challenges and opportunities at play and the policy environment in which rural society must find a defined and legislative context to be an integral part of a Master Plan for “all Society”.

Download the Proceedings Document here.

See photos from the event here.

Presentations from the event: 

Rural Potential and Challenges in the 21st Century: Dr. Ruth McAreavey, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University

Rural Policy: A Coherent Approach or Mis-mash?: Mr. Eugene Cummins, Chief Executive, Roscommon County Council

Through a Rural Lens: Programmes, Policy & Practice – Developing or Supporting the Rural?: Dr. Karen Keaveney, Assistant Professor of Rural Development, School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin & Research Associate, ICLRD

Rural Society in Transition: The Changing Role of the Rural Town: Mr. John Higgins, Managing Director, JH Public Affairs Ltd

The Prospects for the Post-Brexit Border: Dr. Katy Hayward, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Queen’s University Belfast & Senior Research Fellow, Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice

Rural Development: A County Strategic Approach: Mr. Leonard Cleary, Director of Rural Development, Clare County Council

Finding a Place for Community Planning in Ireland: Prof. Deborah Peel, Professor Emeritas, University of Dundee

The Role of Digital Technologies in Sustaining Rural Society: Making the Rural Click: Dr. Stephen Brennan, Chief Digital Advisor, Irish Government

Rural Vibrancy Tool: Enabling Rural Society to Best Meet its Potential: Dr. Brendan O’Keeffe, Director, Institute for Action Research & Research Associate, ICLRD

Revitalising Towns

“Towns and villages across the island of Ireland have in the past decade experienced rapid change and mixed fortunes – from the building of edge-of-town housing estates and retail units to increasing vacancy and the hollowing out of their centres.  Streetscapes are losing their economic vitality; their functional value in both economic and social terms is under threat (Heritage Council, 2015)”.  

Download the brochure and seminar programme here.

You can download the speakers presentations:

Eugene Cummins, Chief Executive, Roscommon County Council 

Anthony Tohill, Chief Executive, Mid Ulster District Council 

Trevor Harte, University of Newcastle

Linda McElduff, Ulster University

John Higgins, JH Public Affairs

Suzanne Lutton,  Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council

Liam Hannaway, Newry Mourne and Down District Council

Mary Grier, Roscommon County Council

Adrian McCreesh, Mid Ulster District Council

In August 2013, Patrick Shaffrey, author and architect, noted that “There are dark shadows looming over the economic prospects and cultural qualities of small towns and villages”.  Three years on this remains the case across the island of Ireland.   There are many reasons behind this persistent trend of decline and decay – edge of town developments, the evolving role of the digital economy, fewer people living along main streets and unsustainable suburban and one-off housing developments, changing demographics including population decline, and the many and varied impacts of the global economic crisis. How to redress these challenges is a major challenge facing local government across the island of Ireland – for while the challenges may be similar, it is increasingly clear that each town and village requires a specific and tailored response”.

In considering the general principles of regeneration, and the lessons to be learnt from good practice elsewhere, this event aims to begin an all-island conversation on the Role of Local Government in the Revitalisation of our Towns and Villages. This is not just about economic regeneration, and it requires a cross-disciplinary dialogue that has regard to economics, planning, social inclusion, heritage, and environmental management/ protection.  This event will consider the broader challenges and opportunities at play, the policy environment in which the revitalisation of towns and the (re)imaginging of new futures will need to play out, the key ingredients to the reimagining of small towns, successful place-making and especially that synergies that have to be created to make all of this happen.


Local Authorities Building Stronger Communities: The Potential Role of Philanthropy

On Wednesday, 27th February 2019 in Wood Quay Venue, Dublin the event ‘Local Authorities Building Stronger Communities – The Potential Role of Philanthropy took place. It opened with contributions from government departments, Tracy Meharg, Permanent Secretary, Department of Communities and Bairbre Nic Aongusa, Assistant Secretary, Department of Rural and Community Development, outlined the current position of philanthropy in their respective departments. Dr Ali Body then highlighted the current philanthropic scene in the UK and engagement by civil society. This policy overview was then followed by four examples of best practice on the island of Ireland with contributions from the Fermanagh Trust, Ballyhoura Development Association, the County Mayo Foundation and Enterprising Monaghan. The event concluded with a Q&A facilitated by Eilis Murray of Philanthropy Ireland.

Download the brochure and seminar programme here

Annual Solace NI/CCMA Seminar

Joint Solace NI/CCMA Seminar 2019 

Annual Joint SOLACE NI/CCMA Seminar – 20 June 2019

Maintaining Good Relations and Cooperation on the island of Ireland

The Annual Joint SOLACE NI/CCMA Seminar took place on Thursday, June 20th in the Stephen’s Green Hibernian Club in Dublin. The theme of this year’s seminar was ‘maintaining good relations and cooperation on the island of Ireland.’ One of the aspects of the annual seminar was how to enhance collaboration across the public sector in order to build safer communities for all our citizens. Attendees heard from Seamus Neely, who deputised for Martin Fraser at short notice, and Peter May, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Justice for Northern Ireland who spoke on the topic of ‘strengthening good relations and collaboration in times of change: synergies within and across governments.’ In the second session of the afternoon, both Drew Harris, Garda Commissioner, An Garda Síochána and George Hamiliton, then Chief Constable, PSNI, discussed the issue of ‘creating safer spaces and communities for our citizens: intentions and aspirations for the future.’

See photos from the event here.

Joint Solace NI/CCMA Seminar 2018

Annual Joint SOLACE NI/CCMA Seminar- 21 June 2018

Supporting Leaders in Local Government: Leadership and Resilience

The Theme for the 2018 Annual Joint SOLACE NI/CCMA seminar, which was held in Dublin on 21st June, was Leadership and Resilience. The seminar was facilitated by Camilla Beglan, Executive Coach and International Leadership Development Consultant, focusing on the following important issues/themes with the group:

• Personal challenges of being a very senior leader
• How these challenges present themselves in the local government sector
• Energy as a component of resilience
• Personal energy challenges
• Strengthening resilience to effectively address current leadership challenges

Jack Keyes, former Chief Executive of Cavan County Council, addressed the group on leadership issues within local government, reflecting on his previous role as a leader, exploring ways in which individual and team potential can be harnessed, and also providing valuable insight into lessons learned from a personal perspective during his time in local government.

Joint Solace NI/CCMA Seminar 2017

Annual Joint SOLACE NI/CCMA Seminar – 2 March 2017

The Role of Local Authorities in Supporting Enterprise Development & Economic Growth

The annual joint seminar provided a valuable opportunity to assess and reflect on the important role that local authorities play in supporting local economic development and economic growth. Enterprise and job creation are priorities for local government and will continue to occupy centre stage for some time to come.

Joe MacGrath, Chairman of the CCMA (County & City Management Association) stated that “while we strive at local level to achieve these joint objective, their collective and synergistic value in supporting national economic growth should never be underestimated”.

Over the course of the seminar, a range of views and some of the key messages which were imparted, include:

  • The imperative to steer a steady course in an uncertain political environment.
  • Understanding “risk” as opposed to “uncertainty”.
  • We were presented with an economic outlook for which there is reason to be optimistic with positive growth potential.
  • Some critical areas in which Local Government can make a difference including mitigating the impacts of “Brexit”, the area of inclusive growth and well-being.
  • The realities of trading in a pre and post “Brexit” environment.
  • On the question of apprenticeships, perhaps we need to change the title or align the apprenticeship model more centrally within the education process.
  • The concept of the entrepreneurial eco-system and its capacity to develop vibrant economic regions.
  • Challenges facing a fledgling business, priorities for business and some new opportunities.
  • And finally, a timely reminder of the planning challenges.

Other Events

Shared Services Learning Exchange Workshop

Following on from a series of successful shared services events, the All-Island Local Authority Forum hosted a Shared Services learning exchange workshop on Wednesday, 4th October 2017 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk.

The workshop shared learning from Enterprise Shared Services (ESS) and the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) with local government colleagues from across the island. 

During the workshop, attendees benefited from:

  • Hearing insights from Enterprise Shared Services (ESS) and the LGMA on their experience in customer centric service delivery
  • ESS Sharing the learning and benefits of providing value added services (consolidated business services; Finance, HR, Training, ICT)
  • ESS and LGMA sharing their experience of developing common ICT systems to optimise and standardise the deployment and support of best practice
  • Benefits realisation as experienced by ESS and LGMA

Download the brochure, which contains the agenda and information on the all the speakers.

Housing Delivery: An Integrated Approach through Local Government

This seminar took place on 27th April 2017 in Dunboyne Castle, Co. Meath with the Minister Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Simon Coveney TD and a representative from the Northern Ireland Department for Communities opening the seminar and outlining the National Context, Priorities and Problems. 

Download the brochure, which contains the agenda and information on the all the speakers. 

Leadership Challenges for Women in the Real World

The “Leadership Challenges for Women in the Real World” seminar will take place on Tuesday 15 November 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk.

The seminar Joint Chair Philomena Poole, Chief Executive, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council  and Theresa Donaldson, Chief Executive, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council will welcome a number of speakers including:

Judith Gillespie, Former Deputy Chief Constable PSNI

Professor Joan Ballantine, University of Ulster

Camilla Beglan, Leadership Consultant and Executive Coach

Dr Marian O’Sullivan, Director General, Institute of Public Administration

Shirley McCaughey, Director, Women’s Leadership Initiative (Chief Executive’s Forum NI)

Julie O’Neill, Strategic Management Consultant, Join the Dots

Click to access the login or register cheese