Last night I attended a public meeting of the RCDC (Roscrea Community Development Council), over previous years this group has achieved an outstanding amount of positive work for the town of Roscrea.
However last night’s meeting to which all nine of our newly elected County Councillors for the Municipal district of Thurles Templemore and Roscrea (5 attended) left me with a sense of dread for the town of Roscrea and its communities.
The Councillors were very eloquent in their opening addresses to the floor which totalled approx. Twenty locals, after which it was opened to the floor.
I was first to speak, I told the councillors that during the election their voices could and were heard loud and clear yet tonight we could not hear them at the back of the hall, I explained that now Roscrea had been disenfranchised, by the amalgamation of the two councils and the closure of the local council office.
In my view they now had the opportunity to come once every month or every two months to meet with the voluntary groups of Roscrea.
That as people involved in and working hard for our respective communities we knew and understood all too well the needs of those communities, that if councillors and officials took the opportunity to meet with the representatives of the groups a way forward in developing Roscrea for the communities and the local business could be achieved.
I was met with silence from the councillors.
Another community activist asked questions and received straight honest answer’s, a debate about the lack of people present ensued, I once again asked the councillors would they meet the local groups in the hope of consensus and to build a better society in Roscrea, I heard no favourable response.
After the meeting one councillor said he would be willing to chair a public forum to try to develop this, time will tell.
Roscrea now only has one elected councillor, no council office and nowhere for the people to go in Roscrea to have issues dealt with.
A forum at which all voluntary groups, Residents associations, Charity groups, Cardiac responder’s, sports groups, child and young adult groups could have representation in meeting with elected councillors and council officials would benefit not just communities but the council itself in developing a constructive and positive way forward on common issues.
All that is needed is a little time and commitment to the process; surely, we can all give this, Roscrea needs something now to lift it out from under the dark clouds hanging over our families and communities.