Issue No. 24 | October 2023

South West Mayo Development Company CLG

In the Loop Newsletter

Appointment of new SWMDC Chairperson

Appointment of New SWMDC Chairperson

We are delighted to announce the appointment of new Chairperson, Thomas Fitzpatrick. Thomas, a farmer living in Hollymount, County Mayo, represents the farming sector on the board as an IFA nominee. Thomas previously held the Company Secretary position and has been an active contributor to the Board since his appointment.

I am delighted to be elected to the chair of SWMDC. The company is going through a time of significant change and significant expansion. We will have many opportunities and challenges over the coming years, and I do my best to steer the company in the right direction during my time as Chairperson” Mr Thomas Fitzpatrick.

At the Annual General Meeting, outgoing Chairperson, Paul Gibbons paid tribute to the SWMDC Board and staff for their support during his tenure in the Chair.

“SWMDC is positively impacting the lives of people living in south and west Mayo and beyond. During my three years, I am proud to have overseen the successful application for €4.9million RRDF funding, a 20% increase in company revenue, and the growth of the team to almost 60 people.”Paul Gibbons

Finally, Paul thanked retiring board members John Healy, Monica Horan, Eugene O’Malley, and Padraig Reilly for their years of service to SWMDC and to their communities, which they consistently represented in all their board interactions. Warm tributes were paid to the outgoing chair, who will remain on the board in an Ex Officio capacity.

“Paul has been an incredibly dedicated Chairperson, working hard to represent the company at local, regional, and national level. His leadership during the preparation of the LEADER local development strategy was particularly noteworthy, and we hope that his work will be rewarded when the LEADER programme announcements are made later this year”. – Sabina Trench, CEO

SWMDC Community Elections - Are you Involved?

Following the four community representative retirements from the SWMDC board, we are now in the process of seeking new community/voluntary nominations from affiliated community and voluntary groups in the Claremorris/East Mayo (male), Castlebar and hinterland (male), and Ballinrobe/South Mayo (male and female) areas.

This is an exciting time for SWMDC, and Board membership offers a great opportunity to be part of a growing organisation working to enrich, empower and energise the the people and communities of south and west Mayo and beyond.

If your community/voluntary group is interested in affiliating to SWMDC and making a nomination to the Board and/or voting in our community elections, please contact 098 419 50 or for more details.

We Are Hiring!

Family Support PractitionerTo engage and build relationships of trust with families and children living in direct provision accommodation centres in County Mayo. 

RSS Supervisor: The supervisor will work as part of a team, primarily responsible for supporting, supervising, and managing 25 RSS participants in their respective work placements in partnership with local community groups. *Re-advertisement* Deadline: 5pm Monday October 16, 2023.

Chief Financial Officer: Working closely with the CEO, this is a senior management position within SWMDC. The CFO will design and implement the SWMDC financial strategy that will ensure financial compliance and excellence is central to delivering the organisational objectives.

Details of these posts will be available on or on our Social media channels: @southwestmayo

Staff Updates

October will see Mary O’Malley (Financial Controller) move on from SWMDC. Mary has dedicated 30 years to SWMDC and we are very grateful for her professionalism, friendship and support over this time.

Gabrielle Clesham (RSS Supervisor) has also moved on from SWMDC after 16 years service. Gabrielle established excellent working relationships with her participants and communities over the years.

We wish Mary and Gabrielle health and happiness as they move on to their next life chapters.

Upcoming Events

Mayo Ideas Month – As part of Mayo Ideas Month, SWMDC is partnering with Údarás na Gaeltachta to host a tourism sustainability event for tourism businesses and social enterprises in Mayo. The event will take place on Friday 20th of October 2023 at 9am – 13:30pm with a host of speakers and workshops on sustainable projects and funding.

Social Farming Awareness Week 2023 – We are hosting an open farm in Wood’s Farm, Crossmolina on Wednesday, 4 October 2023. Contact: for details.

Social Inclusion Week 2023 – There will be a range of events celebrating inclusion from 9th – 15th October 2023 all over Mayo. Keep an eye on our social media for details. The Launch of this week will be at Ballina Library on Tuesday, 3rd October 2023, F26R29

Living Well Training – New courses starting on 12th (Ballaghadereen), 24th (Ballinasloe) and 25th (Online) October 2023. Participation is free. Contact Liam on 086 014 2675 for more information or visit


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