Community groups from all over the county turned out in great numbers for the second County plenary meeting of the Public Participation Network week.
The key speakers were Paddy Mahon, Chief Executive of Longford County Council, Fr Sean Healy, Director of Social Justice Ireland and Karen Kennedy, Water and Community Officer.
Tess Murphy of the PPN Secretariat, who chaired the meeting said she was impressed by the commitment of Longford County Council to work closely with the PPN when decisions that affect people are being made.
“This means that there is a clear path for communities to bring the issues that affect them to the various decision making bodies within the council.”
Siobhan Cronogue, PPN Development Officer updated the members on the achievements of the network to date highlighting the growing membership, the success of PPN representatives on various Committees/Boards, the flow of information from Longford County Council ranging from the EU funding to plan the future of Connolly Barracks, work on the tourist trails to services available from the Local Enterprise Office.
Ms Cronogue said “community groups have never been so well informed on issues that may have an impact on their lives”.
She also spoke of the commitment between the PPN and the Council to support disability groups in developing a Disability Plan for the County.
Fr Sean Healy addressed the meeting stating; “We live in a society full of contrasts with many experiencing poverty and the impact of underfunded services while others are prospering.
“The social contract between the people and the State seems to be breaking down.
“We need to develop a new social contract with a vision of Ireland where social cohesion and the common good are the primary measures of progress, people can really participate in shaping the decisions that affect them and that the Government works in the interest of all.
“I would like to sincerely congratulate County Longford PPN on their excellent work throughout the community and their contribution to decision making in the county”.
Paddy Mahon, Chief Executive, Longford County Council joined Fr Sean in congratulating the PPN and said Longford County Council was committed to supporting the work of the PPN.