I am part of a local initiative where I live, called the Ogonnelloe Exchange, which is a social enterprise that creates spaces, events and develops initiatives to support our community to take responsibility for its own future.
Ogonnelloe has always had a strong history of doing things for itself. And in early 2015 Ogonnelloe Community Development Group started a series of workshops called “Pow Wows” as a grassroots initiative to plan for the future as a community. Part of the process has been to create discussion groups around community development and development in the community. Out of these discussions has come a number of innovative projects including:
- Opening of the Ogonnelloe Exchange café – a community café which has become a very important space in the parish to connect and start new conversations
- Setting up Enterprise Friday networking event for start-ups and existing businesses – A space in East Clare to network , share ideas , get support for your business challenges
- Organised an Enterprise Day in East Clare for local businesses in partnership with Clare Local Enterprise Office The event included Irelands first Netwalk (business networking in the outdoors) which included visiting and hearing local entrepreneurs stories
- Created a 10k “Lake View Greenway” between Ogonnelloe and Killaloe along the shores of Lough Derg (Clare County Council provided the materials and the local community provided manpower and machinery).
- Our first Christmas Craft and Food market took place in December 2015 to encourage local enterprise and entrepreneurship.
- Recently was a prize winner in EIR Fibre broadband competition which included making a 4 minute video about Ogonelloe see http://fibrerollout.ie/clare-ogonnelloe/ The prize is that Ogonnelloe will be one of the first rural parishes in Ireland to get Fibre Broadband hopefully starting in 2017
- Nominated to represented County Clare in the 2016 32 county Pride of Place competition in the community enterprise category.
The Ogonnelloe communities aim is to continue to build a local community for its 600+ residents that we want to live in, by taking responsibility for ours and our children’s’ future. We value living in a rural environment and we want to preserve our identity and heritage. We want our community to be economically and environmentally sustainable for current and future generations. And we would like to share our resources, approaches and learnings with others for the benefit of all