Liadh Ní Riada MEP praises efforts of Ballyhale community shop group
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada paid a visit to Ballyhale on Monday to meet with the local development group. Ballyhale Development Association plan to establish a community owned cooperative grocery in the village in order to meet the needs of people in the area.
Speaking following the visit Liadh Ní Riada said:
“Ireland's villages and rural areas have suffered due to the crisis and the austerity measures imposed by Government over the last eight years. Shops have closed, services have been cut, and young people have moved abroad or to the cities. It has fallen to the community and voluntary sector to fill the void in many cases.
“I must commend the vision and work of the Ballyhale Development Association. Together with Councillor David Kennedy I met with Noreen Murphy who is involved in the proposed community grocery, which will be called Billy's Tearoom and Shop.
“In my role as coordinator of the European Parliament's Committee on Budgets I have advocated for increased recognition and supports for community-owned social enterprises and cooperatives.
“I briefed Noreen and David on EU funding and financing that may be available, and on the structures used by similar cooperative ventures. The fact that a building has been secured from Kilkenny County Council is a huge step forward. I have no doubt that with continued hard work and cooperation from all concerned Billy's Tearoom and Shop will soon be open for business.”