Issue No. 30 | April 2024

South West Mayo Development Company CLG

Empowering Communities - Enriching Lives

In the Loop Newsletter

SWMDC Affiliation Programme 2024 Open for Applications

South West Mayo Development Company (SWMDC) is inviting community groups / organisations to become an affiliated member for 2024. For existing affiliated groups, we will send you an email to review and renew your affiliation.

For new community / voluntary groups interested in affiliation, the benefits of can be summarised as follows:

If you would like to affiliate to SWMDC, please call 098 419 50 or email for an application form.

Current SWMDC Board Vacancies

We currently have four community representative vacancies on our Board:

  • 2 Ballinrobe and Hinterland (1 male and 1 female)
  • 2 Claremorris and East Mayo (1 male and 1 female)


We will be inviting affiliated groups from those areas to nominate representatives for election to the SWMDC board as soon as this affiliation process is completed. Closing date for receipt of affiliation forms (where relevant) and fee is Friday, 3rd May 2024.

We work with over 400 community / voluntary groups in the south west Mayo area, and look forward to supporting you even more in the future.

South West Mayo Development Company CLG has achieved funding success

South West Mayo Development Company CLG has achieved funding success under the ORIS (Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme) for two trail projects in the area. The first project is the upgrade and maintenance of Tóchar Phádraig, one of St. Patrick’s Pilgrim Paths, for which we have been granted €22,500. The second project is the phase two upgrade to a universally accessible trail and enhancement works to Calicaun Bay Trail, Newport, which has been granted €30,000.

These projects are significant for the development of the area and the enrichment of the local trail infrastructure. The upgrade and maintenance of Tóchar Phádraig will not only preserve the cultural heritage of Ireland’s ancient pilgrim trail, it also encourages people to experience the spiritual connections associated with the trail. This project will also promote tourism and lead to the economic growth of the area.

The second project, the enhancement of Calicaun Bay Trail, will increase accessibility and make the area more welcoming to visitors. Newport National School and Newport Tidy Towns will assist in supplying and creating information boards that detail the native flora and fauna in the area. This will positively impact the local community, as it will attract more visitors to the area, boosting tourism, and the local economy.

Overall, funding these projects will positively impact the area, the local communities, and visitors who come to experience the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the region. We are very grateful to Minister Heather Humphreys and the Department of Rural & Community Development for this very welcome financial boost for County Mayo.

Calicaun Bay Trail, Newport
Calicaun Bay Trail, Newport, which has been granted €30,000.
Martin Dillane pictured with Suellen McKenna. Manager of Ballintubber Abbey Trust and John Hopkins Trail manager of the Tóchar Phádraig at the announcement of funding for trail repairs from the Dept of Rural and Community development.
Martin Dillane pictured with Suellen McKenna. Manager of Ballintubber Abbey Trust and John Hopkins Trail manager of the Tóchar Phádraig.

30 years of community development in Newport!

You are invited to an evening celebrating Newport & District Development Company’s (NADDCo) 30 year anniversary. The evening will highlight the successes of the past, and upcoming initiatives for the area:

  • 7pm: Doors open, featuring a photo and video display, meet and greet, photo opportunities, and refreshments.
  • 8pm: Brief presentation and official welcome by NADDCo Chair Martin Dillane.
  • 8:30pm: Short address by Martina Jennings, CEO of Mayo Roscommon Hospice.

Where? Hotel Newport When? Sunday, May 12th 2024 at 7pm

‘Making Newport a Better Place to LIVE, WORK, and VISIT’

Introducing SWMDC's new CFO, Patricia Joyce

Patricia Joyce - CFO

We are delighted to welcome Patricia Joyce as South West Mayo Development Company’s new Chief Financial Officer. Patricia brings a wealth of experience from professional accountancy practice and private sector financial management. We extend our best wishes to her in this new role.

We have every confidence that Patricia’s financial expertise and leadership skills will be a valuable asset to SWMDC and the communities, businesses and people we serve. Her successful background in financial management will undoubtedly contribute to our continuous growth.

More SWMDC Staff Updates:

Ann Moogan has completed her acting role as Financial Controller, and we would like to acknowledge Ann’s dedication and thank her for her excellent work during this time. Special thanks also to members of the finance and administration teams who supported her.

Catherine McCloskey has been appointed as SWMDC’s Social Inclusion Coordinator following a competitive recruitment process. Catherine successfully coordinated SWMDC’s social inclusion initiatives over the past two years, and we wish her every success in her role.

Patricia Quinn is transitioning within SWMDC to the role of Resettlement Support Worker for the new Mayo Resettlement Programme. We wish Patricia much success in her new position.

Norita Clesham celebrated 20 years with SWMDC in March 2024, making her the longest-serving staff member in the company. We greatly appreciate Norita’s commitment, capacity and contributions to the success of our company over two decades.

New SWMDC job opportunities:

SWMDC has more job opportunities coming up in the near future. Please keep an eye on our website and social media accounts for more details.

We are active on several social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, X, and LinkedIn.

The Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force (WRDATF) Family Support Service

The Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force (WRDATF) Family Support Service offers free and confidential assistance to family members and close friends affected by substance use. Support is provided to individuals over 18 years of age in Galway, Mayo, and Roscommon.

For more information, please see the WRDATF Family Support website for more information or reach out to Bernie Avdic, family support worker:

Bernie Avdic, Phone: 087 335 2831 Email:

Communities Integration Fund 2024

The Communities Integration Fund (CIF) plays a vital role in supporting various community groups that contribute to celebrating and nurturing the diverse cultural landscape within local communities. This fund announcement is the second of several to be unveiled before the end of May, targeting community groups actively engaged in integration efforts across the county.

  • A total of €500,000 will be allocated to local community projects nationwide to facilitate migrant integration.
  • Successful organisations will receive grants of up to €5,000 to bolster integration initiatives.
  • This announcement is part of a series of five significant funding releases for migrant integration support, with the International Protection Integration Fund having tripled in February.

Minister of State for Integration, Joe O’Brien, has launched this fund so that community-based organisations throughout Ireland can enhance their essential work in assisting migrants to integrate into local communities. Eligible organisations will receive grant funding ranging from €1,000 to €5,000 to bolster local integration efforts.

Find Out More

Clew Bay Charters Open for Business

Under the LEADER programme 2014-2022, we were delighted to work with Darragh McGee of Clew Bay Charters to secure funding of €135,429 towards the purchase of a purpose built wheelchair accessible boat.

Mo Chara, as the boat has been christened, can accommodate up to 12 passengers with a crew of two people. Up to 6 wheelchair users can use the boat at any one time (including one able bodied person per wheelchair user).

The boat also has a P5 licence, which means it can travel up to 30 miles out to sea. This is a fantastic addition to the product offering along the Wild Atlantic Way and in Clew Bay. To make a booking, please call Darragh on 086 388 4425. Bon voyage!

Low Farm Income or Unemployed? Explore Your Options with RSS & Tús:

Are you looking for work experience and an additional source of income?

Farmers with low income: RSS program (flexible hours, €259.50/week).

Unemployed 1+ year: Tús program (community projects, €259.50/week min).

Both offer: Valuable experience, skills development, and community connection.

Find out more here:

For details on eligibility, please contact: Your local Intreo office or SWMDC’s Balla Office on 094 936 6692.

CLÁR Funding Scheme 2024 – Now Accepting Applications

Investment programme offering funding for rural infrastructure projects:

Measure 1 of the 2024 initiative, grants from €5,000 to €50,000 are being provided to support the development of community and sports facilities, youth clubs, playgrounds, sensory gardens, walking tracks and much more.

Measure 2 supports voluntary groups that provide free transport to people receiving cancer care and other treatment as well as Community First Response Support and Search and Rescue organisations. This year organisations providing a meals on wheels service are eligible to apply.

The measure comes with maximum grants of €50,000 for a car and €100,000 for a bus.

Measure 3 is designed to support offshore island communities, with maximum grants of €120,000 available for community transport projects and up to €50,000 available for amenities projects.

Local Authorities manage Measure 1, while Measures 2 & 3 require direct application to the Department of Rural and Community Development.

Access application forms at

For more information, visit

For inquiries, contact

LEADER Programme Update

The LEADER programme is closed for funding applications in County Mayo. The new programme is going through a selection process with the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) and we will post updates here, on our website, and social media when they are available.

Together with Mayo Local Action Group (LAG), we are currently closing out the current programme in south and west Mayo. This includes working with LEADER-funded communities and businesses to complete their paperwork and claim their final grants.

A summary of LEADER in south west Mayo highlights the following LEADER programme achievements:

  • 177 projects approved for funding
  • €8million in grants approved for projects in south and west Mayo (with some countywide projects) including:
  • €1.2million for food and drink projects (LEADER Food Initiative)
  • €614,000 for cooperation projects (National LEADER Cooperation Fund)

If you are interested in applying for funding under the new LEADER programme, we are accepting enquiries. Send your project and contact details to and we will add you to our mailing list and will let you know about the new LEADER programme as soon as it is available: LEADER (Rural Development Programme) – South West Mayo Development Company (

 Registered in Dublin 182222. Recognised by the Revenue Commissioners as a Charity No. CHY 10482 Copyright © 2021 South West Mayo Development. All Rights Reserved.