The Irish Times Invites Readers’ Views on Small Town Regeneration

Island Heights B&B owner, Marry Ann Breen was one of the contributors to the fact finding film made by Aimí Ní Riada and Kate McSweeney for last week’s Rural Revival Conference in Castleisland. Click on the image to see the film.
Kate McSweeney (left) and Aimí Ní Riada talking to Mike Mangan in Castleisland during the November 1st Horse Fair Day. ©Photograph: John Reidy

The Irish Times is inviting readers from around the country to have their say on what they feel would reverse the obvious decline in small towns and villages and to sustain the traditional businesses therein.

“A report published on Friday found that small towns in Ireland are suffering a long drawn-out decline and are in urgent need of attention,” according to the invitation posted at the weekend.

A Perfect Storm

“The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) said action was needed to ensure their survival and warned that factors such as increased costs, the legacy of out-of-town shopping centres, the dissolution of town councils and high vacancy rates have all contributed to a “perfect storm” for regional high streets.

Ideas for Small Town Ireland

“Do you have an idea that would make Ireland’s small towns better? You can share your views and experiences with a maximum of 300 words.

A selection of responses may be published on,” according to the invitation.

You can do so by clicking on the link below.

Kate and Aimí on the Road

In preparation for the recent Sinn Féin Castleisland Cumann hosted Conference on Rural Revival, organiser in chief, Kate McSweeney teamed up with multimedia journalist, Aimí Ní Riada.

They hit the roads around the local parishes and further afield on a fact finding mission.

And you can see what they found with a click on the image at the top of this page.

Opinions at Large

There are opinions at large now that shopping centres and small town shops and the like will be the next, great rattlingly empty monuments to the shopping habits of an era rapidly disappearing.

Combinations of merciless legislation, insurance, taxes and rates and being nailed to every cross imaginable has left small town family businesses, shops and public houses reeling in despair – with reluctant closure the only viable option for many.

If you’d like to submit your ideas for a brighter future for the towns and villages of Ireland you can do so with a click on the link here:

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