Clonroche Development Association Ltd
Chairman's Address June 13th 2011
Clonroche Development Association Ltd was set up with the expressed objective of developing the village of Clonroche and area in the Cultural, Social & Economic spheres of development. This could only be achieved through organisation, co-operation, mandate and goodwill of the wider community who would share a common and agreed intent.
Therefore it is essential to have a structure to enable debate, communication, and agreed decisions taking taken in open, accessible, and fair assembly. The assembly will have, in its simplest form, a Chairman, Secretary & Treasurer
The organisation will then enact its working procedures in planning, discussion and execution in broad agreement with the organisation, its principles and with unanimous or majority decision. Other than this the organisation will reduce to dispute, ranker, dissatisfaction and the officers will be unable to, or prevented from, carrying out their duties. It will further hinder access to fair and open debate and be less than representative of the community, its needs, wishes and aspirations
In recent months, decent is evident in this organisation with individuals not abiding by decisions taken at meetings, in fact with open decent of decisions properly taken at meetings, and in some cases carrying out actions, in the name of Clonroche Development Association Ltd, with out any authorisation or even discussion or indeed attending meetings. There can be very serious consequences for the whole organisation with these unauthorised actions, not least the potential for claims of damage, injury or trespass. There are also the matter of individuals making decisions of expenditure or other, without authorisation, or indeed without attending meetings, and contra to decisions taken at this proper assembly. I don't think any fair minded person can condone this action.
This year, I think, we had our successes and succeeded in widening the interest and influence of Clonroche Development Association Ltd:
We needed to, and I think somewhat succeeded, in widening the scope and potential of the organisation and getting more people involved. We succeeded with better communications with respect to projects. I counted ten people, one day, engaged in works around the village. This participation, involvement, organisation & camaraderie was an enjoyable experience for all, I'm sure you will agree. I can contrast this with something not so pleasant.
In a healthy organisation there is no place for secrecy, hidden agenda's or a clique formation. All aspects of the business of the organisation must be placed before the meeting for discussion. In that way we are drawing on the skills, knowledge and experience of the organisation to arrive at consensual decision and agreed actions. There will be contrary and different point of views expressed, and this is healthy, but when the decision is agreed, then it forms part of the policy of the Association and must be the path followed.
This year, for instance, the Tidy Towns Plan was never discussed or presented to the committee. How can the "plan" be instigated if it's not known and not discussed. There is knowledge, skills, interests in within the group that could be beneficially consulted to further our progress in this competition.
When I hear, from different sources, that I, as chairman of this association, was not meant to attend a meeting with personnel from the Environment Section of Wexford County Council, I wonder who is attempting to make these decisions and at what forum.
We had the instance of a charge of in excess of 1,100 placed on this Association by our colleagues in ANCCR. For three months I requested both our representatives to detail the calculation of this charge without success. I think both our representatives were in agreement this charge of 1,100 was valid. I think it was stated "everyone else had paid"
I represented Clonroche Development Association Ltd at a special meeting of ANCCR and in ten minutes had a resolution to re-access the validity of this money, not only for Clonroche, but for all groups. I attended this meeting with no brief, no documentation, and no support from both of our representatives. In fact I was told by one of our representatives before the meeting started "we'd be better out working in the village". When the validity of my intervention became clear, it was Adamstown's representatives who passed me documentation to continue with my argument.
This is another example of not discussing openly the business of the Association at our monthly meetings. No one expects our representatives to have a thorough knowledge of accountancy or the reading of a balance sheet, but, we have that expertise here in this Association.
I witnessed another incident when our FAS people arrived a 8:30 to help sweep the village as PLANNED and being redirected by a member who didn't attend the previous four or five meetings. Now I must remind you of the fact the Village was swept from end to end on a previous occasion without the intervention or re direction.
We had people in open defiance of our Village Walks, which were passed at properly convened meetings of Clonroche Development Association Ltd, and which were very successful. These walks were instigated to re establish democratic decision and informed evaluation of works to be carried out in the village. There were also meant to stop undue criticism and interference of the FAS personnel, who had no work plan in place. The decisions taken on these walks are published and distributed openly, with I think, beneficial results
We had the disgraceful spectacle of the elected PRO being hounded out of the organisation, following at least three separate verbal attacks, for writing an accurate and benign article on the St Patrick Day Parade in the local newspapers. How silly can we get
I think it essential, at this time, these things are said in open meeting. It will help, I hope, to exemplify the destructive conflicts and its effect on this organisation. I think any fair minded individual will comprehend we have to make a stand for proper and courteous interaction within this organisation and have open and rational debate on all issues presented. If you, as an individual see the validity of my reasoning, then I will hope you, as an individual, will stand up and be counted. It would be my sincere hope that we can put these things behind us and from to-day work on making Clonroche a better place to live, work and visit which is one of the tenets, if not the main tenet of this organisation.
It is my sincere hope we can accommodate everyone and certainly I would not like to loose a single person from this organisation: I would look back to the time I returned from a meeting with WORD in Wexford and wondering if the community of Clonroche would back me in my efforts to develop the Park. Within minutes of my return home Leo Tector and Ml Cogley were at my door to organising fencing and railings, I can never forget that. I can't forget the effort that was but into the village of Clonroche at that time, by all here present and others like Ted Byrne, Pat Harris, Francis Carthy, CJ Doyle and many more who took these early projects to fruition. Projects that are now very beneficial to our community
To Dermot, who Saturday after Saturday is dedicated to the Penny Bank and who's heart we know is in the right place in his amazing efforts to develop this village. To our good friend Patrick Butler senior, who celebrated his 90th Birthday a few weeks ago, the first chairman of this Association and a great Clonroche man.
To my good friend Richie, who gave everything to this community down through the years. From the time I was a young boy. Richie was always involved in community and social matters and made no profit what so ever from it.
Jim Butler, a busy man running his business, who organised the Parish Party meals without fuss or any requirement of public recognition and also ran one of the best burger stalls in Ireland.
Bernard Doran and John O'Brien, I have there 'photo's involved in many projects since the inception of this organisation not forgetting Aidan.
Jim Redmond and Martin Kelly, I can't think of better people and level headed clear thinking people and who have gave enormously to the betterment of this village.
Mary Tobin, our Treasurer, who at time has a go a your truly, and perhaps rightly so, but who does Trojan work throughout the year, most of it in the background. Mary's record of keeping the accounts and her role as Treasurer is impeccable.
Mick Cogley & Francis Carthy, we have only to look at the Park. But we must also recognise their contribution down the years.
Liz Donnellan, a contributor to our community in many and varied things including the Choir and the History Society, and done very valuable in this Association. Even this morning at 8:o'clok Liz was carrying out her duties on behalf of this organisation.
Martin Ryan, Tom Furlong what need I say about their involvement in the community, you already know
I look at the list of members of our committee over the years, 31 in 2001; seventy per cent attended practically all monthly meetings. We want that number to return to the monthly meetings, then we can be truly representative of this community
I have often stated that this organisation must go on doing its good work. It must be the focal point of development in this village and this area. We must put the name out there, Clonroche Development Association Ltd at every opportunity. If you split it, you weaken it. I see on the bins Clonroche Tidy Towns Association, there is no such organisation. This will splinter and weaken focused representation within this community, and believe it or not there are people in this community who would wish this organisation would fail. Why this is so, is beyond my reasoning, but joy can be taken in the fact that the majority of this community recognise the work carried out for the betterment of our village and our area.
The challenges into the foreseeable future are daunting. There is employment, social, economic challenges to be negotiated and this will take hard nosed decisions and strong representation.
Looking at other villages, Blackwater, Oulart, The Ballagh, Bannow, consisting of a church and a school a few years ago, now have bigger populations than Clonroche. Business is growing in these villages as I witnessed a few short weeks ago. In the boom years, Clonroche did not develop in a coherent and desirable manner because of our sewage system.
Many of these villages have community areas that are excellent, look at our near neighbours Raheen. They have support organisations and facilities in place through hard work and endeavour.
Our remit must be much broader than a Tidy Towns Committee , though very laudable and an intricate part of our programme, there are more serious challenges ahead. We must harness all the expertise and good will resident in our community. We must not suppress talent but rather hold it up as a desirable goal. It's rather surprising, and I witnessed it on many occasions and in this year, the people who would knowingly hinder obvious talent and prevent it from shining through. There is no place for that in this community
We must expand, we must endeavour to attract more members, we must be more representative of the community in which we live, we must have a verifiable mandate to speak out on behalf of our community and above all we must have a sense of camaraderie, friendship, common cause, common goal, common sense and the bit of craic. In the words of Alexandre Dumas characters " The Three Musketeers" tous pour un, un pour tous", "All for one and one for all"
Clonroche Development Association Ltd:
Meeting Attendance Record 2000/2001
Chairman; Mr R Blackburn	11
Vice Chairman; Mr Jim Butler		 9
Secretary; Mr Lorcan Dunne	11
Treasurer: Mr Leo Tector/ Mary Tobin	10/8
1.	Colin Dier, Clonroche,	11
2.	Robin Varey	11
3.	D O'Sullivan	10
4.	Thos Furlong	10
5.	John O'Brien, Raheen	10
6.	Martin Ryan, Spout Road 	 9
7.	Mary Buckley, Canon Murphy Pk.	 9
8.	Cll. Denis Kennedy	 9
9.	Martin Kelly, Canon Murphy Pk.	 8
10.	Mary Blackburn, The Villas	 8
11.	Johnny Connors	 8
12.	Jenny Kemptsone	 8
13.	James Redmond, Canon Murphy Pk.	 7
14.	Thomas Kehoe The Villas,	 7
15.	Jackie Monahan, Tominearly	 6
16.	Mary Redmond, Canon Murphy Pk	 5.
17.	Padge Kehoe, Canon Murphy Pk.	 5
18.	Bernard Doran, Raheen.	 4
19.	Pat Redmond, Canon Murphy Pk,	 4
20.	Betty Kehoe, Canon Murphy Pk .	 4
21.	Patrick Monahan, Tominerly.	 3
22.	Ml Cogley, Clonroche,	 3
23.	Tim Flood	 2
24.	Fr Richard Hayes	 2
25.	Ml Joyce,Tomfarney	 1
26.	Michael Kehoe, Tomfarney.	 0
27.	Tommy Waters, Ballymackessey.	 0
32 member committee elected
22 Very Committed Members	68.75%
3 Committed Members 	 9.4%
5 Attended three or less meetings	15.6%