Seven Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) will benefit from a €12m package to underpin Local Development Strategies to 2020.
Unveiling the funding available through Ireland’s Operational Programme for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), marine minister Michael Creed said job creation and rural development were key prioritites for this government.
Pictured at the launch of the Launch of FLAGS (Fisheries Local Area Groups) programme at the National Seafood Centre in Clonakilty are Michael Creed, T.D., Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Tara McCarthy, CEO, BIM with FLAGS representatives, WEST FLAG, Paddy Crowe, Inis Oirr, Co. Galway; SOUTH WEST FLAG, Kevin Flannery, Dingle Co.Kerry; NORTH FLAG, Gerry Gallagher, Co. Donegal; SOUTH FLAG, Finian OÕSullivan, Bantry, Co. Cork; SOUTH EAST FLAG, Noel McDonagh, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford and NORTH WEST FLAG, Gerard Hassett, Achill, Co. Mayo.
“The success of FLAGs under the previous programme shows that fisheries and aquaculture communities can identify priorities to target investment best suited to their area’s needs,” Minister Creed added.
Tara McCarthy, BIM chief executive said over the previous 2012-2015 programme, 180 projects were grant aided almost €1m.
“This initial funding has supported a wide range of initiatives targetting job creation, social inclusion, tourism, community regeneration and market development around our coastline.
Phase One of FLAGs has resulted in “14 new businesses, 16 jobs being safeguarded and 27 new jobs.”
Co-funded by the EMFF and the Exchequer as part of Ireland’s €241m EMFF Operational Programme, the initiative focussses on community-led development to enhance the economic opportunities and social sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture dependent areas.
BIM is the implementation partner working directly with the FLAG groups to assist them to establish and develop their strategies. DAFM oversees the programme and EMFF/Exchequer funding aspects.
FLAG Northeast: Omeath to Howth
FLAG Southeast: Bray to east of bank of River Blackwater at Youghal
FLAG South: West bank of River Blackwater at Youghal to county boundary west of Lauragh
FLAG Southwest: Boundary west of Lauragh to Foynes
FLAG West: Kilimer to Leenane
FLAG Northeast: Killary to Easkey
FLAG North: Ballyshannon to Muff