As fears grow for the future of Ballyhoura Development, the organisation is planning rallies in Doneraile and Cappamore to showcase achievements over the last quarter of a century and to inform the public of the current policy and what they believe are its far reaching ramifications for the delivery of service.

The Government is proposing changes to the way programmes which are currently delivered by Ballyhoura Development will be delivered in the future. If implemented, the changes will lead to serious questions on the future sustainability of local development companies including Ballyhoura Development.

According to John Walsh, Chairperson of Bally-houra Development, “Ballyhoura Development has 25 years experience of delivering supports to local communities and people with positive results. The changes by the Government could see public bodies take over these programmes which would have serious consequences for citizens and communities across the Ballyhoura area.”

To provide people and communities with a clear picture, Ballyhoura Development has orga-nised showcase rallies to highlight the achieve-ments of individuals, groups and businesses supported by Ballyhoura Development and to explain current policy and the potential challenges to the retention of current services offered by Ballyhoura Devel-opment. These showcase rallies will inform communities and citizens on what the changes will mean to them and look at what can be done to support the services delivered by Ballyhoura Development.

Mr. Walsh is encouraging and urging everyone in the South East Limerick and North East Cork areas to attend one of these rallies so that you are aware of the current policy proposals and their implications.

The rallies will take place in Doneraile on Friday April 11th and Cappa-more on Monday April 14th with registration at 7.30pm each evening.

The Government say that the rationale behind the proposed changes is to make local government stronger. Carmel Fox, CEO of Ballyhoura Development, stated that Ballyhoura Development is in favour of stronger local government. However, she clarified that the strengthening of local government does not have to negatively impact on the current local delivery by companies such as Bally-houra Development. “If local government is given a strengthened co-ordination, oversight and monitoring function with the local devel-opment companies such as Ballyhoura Develop-ment continuing to be fully responsible for and delivering the LEADER and the Local and Community Development Programmes, together with other projects and programmes, the Govern-ment will reach its goal,” she insisted.