Ciara Ní Fhátharta is the Bainisteoir/Manager of Comhlacht Forbartha Inis Meáin, the local development organisation set up for Inis Meáin in the Aran Islands, Ireland, in 2016 to help promote the island, ensure services, preserve the language, attract funding and help ensure a better life for all living on the island. Here she provides an update on the island’s development.
Our main aim in Inis Meáin is to start the construction work on our community centre, as that will be key to having adequate space for organising events, training courses and the like. Construction work is due to start by this summer. In lieu of the centre, we are working around the facilities at the island’s secondary school to cater for our events.
I am organising more outdoor activities for January, such as 5km walks in the evening as January can be a difficult month for some people and I want to promote social inclusion. These walks are once a week until the month of March. The reason I chose the month of March is because the evenings get brighter and we see an increase in the number of tourists, therefore people are busy with their own side-line businesses.
I am also organising woodwork and art classes in the community – I have focused on practical classes so that community members who have been out of education for some time will be comfortable to attend as a more structured lessons-based environment may not appeal to all members. Through having practical class, it may also empower individuals to set up their own business through selling their crafts during the tourist season.
For those who wish to donate to the building of the centre, for which 20% must be fundraised, there is a crowdfunder here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/community-centre-for-inis-meain Comhlacht Forbartha Inis Meáin also runs Irish language training courses on the island: https://gaeilgeinismeain.wixsite.com/mysite