Issue No. 31 | May 2024

South West Mayo Development Company CLG

Empowering Communities - Enriching Lives

In the Loop Newsletter

Mayo Islands Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2024-2028
SWMDC is delighted to secure the tender for the delivery of the Mayo Islands Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme

Great news! South West Mayo Development Company is thrilled to announce that we’ve been selected to implement the Mayo Islands Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP). We’re all set to build on our Island’s work to date and continue to bring this project to life in the next five years.

The Mayo Islands Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme

2024-2028 is a powerful initiative to combat poverty and social exclusion at a local level. It’s all about fostering connections and building partnerships between our clients, community organisations and relevant agencies for the good of all.

We’re excited to collaborate with the Island development companies, local community groups, and residents to make this programme a great success. Here’s to empowering, enriching and energising communities together!

We're thrilled to announce that SWMDC has been successful in securing €80,028 worth of new arrivals contingency funding, courtesy of SICAP.

This means we’ll be able to provide our International Protection Applicants and Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection clients with an array of additional supports, including:

  • Initiatives to boost wellbeing.
  • English Language classes.
  • Counselling services.
  • Engaging in summer programmes.
  • Support to help activate job opportunities.


We’re excited about the positive impact this will have on our community. You can find out more about SICAP and contact our team Here.

We're delighted to announce that the Clogher Bog Loops and the Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail will each receive €10,000 in funding.


We’re delighted to announce that the Clogher Bog Loops and the Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail will each receive €10,000 in funding. This funding has been granted by the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) in conjunction with South West Mayo Development Company CLG. The funding will be used to resurface, re-route, and improve the outdoor trails for the benefit of local communities, tourists, walkers, and hikers.

South West Mayo Development Company has secured funds for the Western Way to replace a weathered wooden bridge with a robust, galvanised version. This €10,000 project is an investment in safety, sustainability, and the future of our community. It’s an example of how we, at South West Mayo Development Company, are dedicated to uplifting our region through infrastructural enhancements.

The Clogher Loops, Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail, and the Western Way hold rich histories and breath-taking landscapes that deserve to be experienced by all.

With this new injection of funding, we are taking a significant step towards fostering an appreciation for the natural environment that defines our region. Together, we can continue to build a legacy of conservation, enjoyment, and connection through these trails.

Special thank you to our Rural Recreation Officer: Martin Dillane and all involved with these projects. Pictured Martin Dillane with the Clogher Community announcing the funding and inspecting the new fencing installed at the Clogher Bog Loop new bird wall.

Pictured Martin Dillane with the Clogher Community inspecting the new fencing installed at the Clogher Bog Loop new bird wall.

Wishing Leanne the very best of luck as she heads off on maternity leave.

We at South West Mayo Development Company extend our warmest congratulations and best wishes to our colleague Leanne Loftus, as she embarks on a wonderful new chapter – maternity leave! We wish for a happy and healthy time with her new arrival.

Staff Updates

Martin Dillane, Rural Recreation Officer recently celebrated ten years with South West Mayo Development Company. In that time, Martin has established himself and SWMDC as a key player in the development of walks and trails in Mayo.

Alvina Devaney joined us in April 2024 as one of our new Family Support Practitioners. Working with families living in IPAS centres, Alvina brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her new role.

We are planning to launch our new WorkAbility programme in the coming months, so stay tuned for more staff announcements and programme details.

Discover New Opportunities with our Employment Programmes: Community Employment, Rural Social Scheme & Tús

The Community Employment (CE) programme is designed to support people who are long-term unemployed to get back to work by offering part-time and temporary work placements in local communities.

Find out more about our employment schemes:

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

Farmers with low income: Rural Social Scheme (flexible hours, €259.50/week).

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

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

For details on eligibility, please contact: Your local Intreo office or SWMDC’s

Balla Office on 094 936 6692.

Minister Alan Dillon TD and members of the SWMDC LEADER and Rural Social Scheme teams, CEO and Chairperson together with representatives of Mayo Local Action Group (LAG) and Davitts GAA Chairperson. Photo credit Breda Raftery.

Group Photo with Alan Dillon and SWMDC

May 2024 saw the launch of Davitts GAA Club’s new remote working hub and community walkway. This innovative project meets the needs of the local community while addressing important environmental goals such as reducing carbon emissions through the installation of solar panels on the building.

The SWMDC LEADER team supported the club in securing LEADER funding of almost €60,000 towards the project costs, and the club matched this money through local fundraising efforts and support.

As a commuter village in south Mayo, many residents travel to Galway for work. This new working hub will allow people to work remotely with high-speed broadband while keeping a social connection with other hub users.

With the increase in serious and fatal road accidents in the locality, the community walkway has never been more important. A vital resource for people of all ages, it was a welcome resource during the Operation Transformation programme earlier this year.

Special credit is due to the foresight of the Davitts GAA working group that brought this project from concept to completion, ably supported by the SWMDC LEADER team in Norita Clesham and Majella Mulchrone.

Throughout the year, SWMDC provides significant Rural Social Scheme resources to the club with two full-time placements in Lucy Daly and John Noone. When extra support is needed at various times of the year, our RSS Supervisor, Laura Commins mobilises other RSS participants from around the area to pitch in for the bigger jobs.

This is an excellent example of how SWMDC offers an integrated suite of support to local and community organisations to develop and sustain vital community-led initiatives. If you would like to book a desk in the working hub, please email

Mayo Social Enterprise Network Meeting

South West Mayo Development Company, in collaboration with Mayo North East LEADER Partnership has been working with the local social enterprise community for many years.

We would like to invite all social enterprises in County Mayo to this valuable network meeting, which contains useful information on a variety of topics including human resources, marketing, and funding applications.

Date: Monday, May 27th 2024

Location: Balla Community Resource Centre, The Square, Balla, F23 A303.

Time: 9.30am for 10am start.


  • Networking & Registration (9.30am – 10am).
  • ‘Recent Changes and Additions in Employment Law’ by Sue Baird (10am – 11am).
  • Networking Break (11am – 11.30am).
  • ‘Marketing Programme for Social Enterprises’ by Thady Kavanagh (11.30am).
  • Showcasing impact through video content.
  • Creating your story for the Visibility Awareness Video Programme 2024.
  • Applying for Department Social Enterprise Visibility Programme fund.
  • Using your phone to create video content demonstration.
  • Lunch (12.30pm)


This is a great opportunity for peer to peer support, exchange of ideas and learnings. We look forward to seeing you there!

Living Well Programme Starting in Castlebar 2024

Living Well Programme starting in Castlebar on 28th May 2024:

The next Living Well Programme in Co Mayo will start in Castlebar Social Services Centre on Tuesday 28th May, 10.30 am – 1 pm and continue weekly at that time for six weeks. The Living Well Programme helps people living with a long-term health condition to manage their condition and improve their overall wellbeing. Anyone with any chronic illness such as diabetes, arthritis, COPD, cardiac illness, anxiety, etc. can benefit from these workshops.

Places are free but advance registration is required. To find out more, please contact Liam Gildea on 086 014 2675 or by email at

The Living Well Programme is delivered by South West Mayo Development Company on behalf of the HSE.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to aid your well-being with the support of the dedicated team from the South West Mayo Development Company and the HSE.

More Info

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