BY SEÁN P. FEENY
A MAJOR initiative to provide more services to the community, sell the region and promote the Irish language will be launched in Gaoth Dobhair next week.
Ionad Naomh Pádraig’s new twofold five-year development plan will be launched at the Dobhair community centre on Thursday, April 19 (2pm). The first part, Plean Forbartha, which will be launched by Séamus Mac Giolla Chomhaill (An Roinn Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta) concentrates on the centre and the area.
‘Goals and targets’
Manager, Máire Mhic Giolla Chomhaill said they wanted to set new goals and targets for what they want to achieve for the centre, and more importantly the community, over the next five years.
“This is a follow-on from our previous three-year plan and we have already started on some of the projects we want to develop,” she said.
One of the main initiatives set out in the plan is to develop a garden for the centre, and it is already underway with 16 people working there once a week through Ionad Naomh Pádraig’s collaboration with Donegal VEC on the community garden project.
Ms Mhic Giolla Chomhaill said: “It’s important to us that this garden will be accessible for everyone in the community. The local branch of the Irish Wheelchair Association already holds its day centre here twice a week and we want to provide a path, high rise flower beds to give them the opportunity to work and relax in the garden.
“We also would like to get the local schools involved to give the children a chance to work on plants and growing organic vegetables.”
Already a very popular service at the centre, Ms Mhic Giolla Chomhaill said they also hope to develop the recording studio further, providing a place of work for local artists as well as using it to record further stories told by members of the public to further build up the archives on local history.
Staff at the community centre are always looking for feedback to develop their services and further projects they wish to build on are the talks on the dangers of alcohol with young members of the community through the North West Alcohol Forum, meals on wheels services, and providing a low cost place for social functions, from funerals to christenings.