Posted on November 17, 2016
On 17th November EirGrid hosted an awards event in the Mullingar Park Hotel last night (16thNovember) for the 37 local organisations awarded funding under EirGrid’s first ever community fund. EirGrid CEO Fintan Slye was joined by Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resource Sean Kyne TD, Mayor of Mullingar John Shaw and representatives from Community Foundation for Ireland and Westmeath and Meath County Councils to celebrate the work of local community groups. This is the first fund of its kind to be put in place by EirGrid, the state electricity transmission system operator, and was open to community groups based along the EirGrid’s new 110 kV transmission line running between Mullingar, County Westmeath and Killaskillen in Meath.The successful winners represented a cross-section of community life in Meath and Westmeath, from music to athletic and sporting organisations, from childcare services to support for senior citizens.
Minister Sean Kyne welcomed the introduction of the fund by EirGrid. “I would like to congratulate all 37 groups who will receive funding. There is a need to explore ways of building community gain into infrastructure projects. Delivering long-lasting benefits to communities is an important way of achieving public acceptability for a project such as the Mullingar to Kinnegad 110 kV line.”
Fintan Slye, Chief Executive, EirGrid, said: “This evening is about celebrating the many deserving winners of the EirGrid Community Fund. The award winners are the first of their kind in Ireland, and the way they use this support to improve and enhance community activities will set the bar for similar organisations all over the country. I am confident this support will make a real difference to the local communities along the Mullingar to Kinnegad line and enable them to extend their reach locally.
“I would like to thank Minister Kyne and Mayor Shaw for celebrating with us and the Community Foundation for Ireland and Westmeath County Council for their sterling work in assessing the applications and selecting the award winners from so many worthy applicants. I am delighted the funding awarded this evening will have such a positive impact in the communities in which EirGrid works”.
Hugh O’Reilly, Senior Executive Officer Westmeath County Council, said: “It was extremely rewarding to be part of this process over the last few months and I am confident that these awards will make a real and lasting difference to many deserving community groups. The local groups gathered here this evening play a vital role in local community life and this funding will provide many of them with the necessary funding to continue to do so”.
Commenting on the awards Jackie Harrison, Head of Development at The Community Foundation for Ireland, said: “The EirGrid Community Fund will provide much needed and much wanted funding for locally based projects in addition to organisations who will benefit from larger social impact grants. This funding will enable the provision of many essential services over the coming months and years”.