Election Night Beckons for Castleisland Chamber Alliance

Will Monday night's Castleisland Chamber Alliance election night write a new chapter in the town's illustrious history. ©Photograph: john Reidy
Will Monday night’s Castleisland Chamber Alliance election night write a new chapter in the town’s illustrious history. ©Photograph: john Reidy

The election of candidates for the proposed Castleisland Chamber Alliance will be held at the next meeting which has been scheduled for tomorrow night, Monday, October 12th at the River Island Hotel at 7.30pm.
An initial public meeting was held on the September 29th at which it was agreed to establish a Chamber Alliance for Castleisland which would include representation from nine sectors namely: Business / Industry; Retail; Sports/Leisure; Farming & Agriculture; Social Enterprise; Social Services; Tourism; Community; Arts/Culture; Schools/Youth.

Nominated Candidates
It was confirmed that all nominated candidates must agree to stand for election and where possible nominations should be submitted in advance of the election to facilitate the preparation of ballot sheets. It was also agreed that nominations would be accepted on the night of the election. Nominations can be sent by email to Eileen.oconnor@kerrycoco.ie.
The total number representing each of the sectors will be agreed on election night. However it was agreed that to be effective the membership should not exceed ten.
The position of chairperson of the new Chamber Alliance was also discussed and it was agreed that this person would be elected on Monday night and that this person could be in addition to the representatives elected for the sectors identified.

Last week’s jolt to the greater Castleisland area at the announcement of Kerry’s allocation of Sports Capital Grants totalling €950,000 with only €1,700 coming this way left many people in the locality with a sour taste and a whiff of parish pump, election time politics at its lowest – ask anyone in Cordal!

Burden of Expectation
If, as anticipated, a Castleisland Chamber Alliance does indeed emerge from tomorrow night’s meeting it will mark the end of this part of the process. However, it and its sitting members will carry a burden of expectation – expectation that only cross community involvement and initiative can really deliver.
Jeremy Burke’s point about the lack of cohesion in all the many initiatives being taken by groups and individuals in and around the town can then be put in the dock and examined.
He elaborated, maybe unwittingly, on his point when I met him yesterday evening. Someone who came into Tomo’s Electrical told him there was a ‘Mental Health’ open day at the Second Chance Charity Shop yesterday. “Who knew about it ? he asked.

No Yodellers
“That’s the kind of support mechanism the chamber alliance could put in place. Then you’re hoping that the initiatives which come in from the clubs and the public can be acted on and supported,” he said.
Interesting times ahead and it all starts with the election of the Castleisland Chamber Alliance at 7-30pm tomorrow night at the River Island Hotel. “No Yodellers (falsetto warblers) need apply,”  as Charlie Farrelly so subtly put it at the most recent meeting.
It will be historic – I feel.

Innocent bystanders and curious spectators will also be welcome. Be there and be part of it.