Large attendance at Longford PPN plenary meeting

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Anna Delaney, Marie Lough, Tess Daly, Maria Keelty, John Lonergan, Siobhan Cronogue and Barbara Heslin

The County Longford Public Participation Network County Plenary meeting was well attended by community groups from across the county last Wednesday, November 22, in Longford Library.

John Lonergan, retired Governor of the Prison Services and well-renowned for his inspirational speeches said he believed communities lost their identity and sense of belonging during the Celtic Tiger and the PPN is a great way of reconnecting people with people.

He spoke of the migration of young people and the importance of the community understanding “that every creation and innovation started with one person; be that person.”

Other key speakers on the night were Marie Lough, Longford Fire Services, who highlighted the importance of communication especially in the event of an emergency and referenced the great interagency work that was carried out before, during and after Storm Ophelia.

Maria Keelty, PPN Disability Rep gave a brief outline of the set up of the PPN Disability Network, all the disability groups involved and their achievements to date.

It's fair to say she left a lasting impression on the crowd with her tips from how to interact with people with disabilities to the misuse of blue badges in disability parking bays.

Anna Delaney sparked people's interest with her update on the work of the URBACT Local Group speaking about Connolly Barracks and the Longford Nua App.

Anna who was recently appointed the UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate for the county encouraged communities to get involved and learn more by attending the Transforming Our Community event which takes place December 8 at 7pm in Longford Library.

Tess Murphy, PPN Secretariat chaired the meeting and thanked Longford County Council for the real engagement they were having with community groups through the PPN and acknowledged their fast responses to requests submitted by the PPN in particular with the work of PPN Disability Network.

Siobhán Cronogue, Development Officer informed the members of the work carried out in 2017 and gave an outline of the plan for 2018.

“We must continue to maintain and grow the network and support our members and representatives” she said.

She highlighted the fact the Longford PPN was chosen as one of four PPN’s to pilot the Wellbeing Statement Toolkit and said members input would be instrumental in its development and roll out across the country.

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