Kil­cor­ney sem­i­nar to fo­cus on ru­ral liv­ing chal­lenges

Irish Examiner - - Agri Business - Ray Ryan

The many chal­lenges of ru­ral liv­ing will be the topic for dis­cus­sion at a sem­i­nar to be held in Kil­cor­ney, Co Cork, on Wed­nes­day.

Kil­cor­ney is typ­i­cal of many small ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties. Over the past 30 years, it has lost its cream­ery, post of­fice, and lo­cal shop.

Pat Cox vis­ited the vil­lage when he was Euro­pean Par­lia­ment pres­i­dent in 2002 to high­light the im­por­tance of ru­ral ser­vices and was pho­tographed do­ing a ra­dio in­ter­view from the lo­cal tele­phone box to high­light the im­por­tance of the is­sue.

“We met all of these chal­lenges head-on,” said Donie Howard, lo­cal com­mu­nity ac­tivist. “With a key in­gre­di­ent called com­mu­nity spirit, de­vel­oped the vil­lage, and cre­ated many fine ameni­ties, such as a river walks, an as­tro­turf play area, a com­mu­nity play­ground and a cen­tre with eight so­cial houses.”

Mr Howard said dairy has al­ways been the back­bone of Kil­cor­ney and this is now fac­ing huge chal­lenges from Brexit, in­ad­e­quate prices and the next round of CAP.

“It is again time to take stock and be­gin plan­ning for all these chal­lenges,” he said, stress­ing that global prob­lems are best solved in small com­mu­ni­ties from the bot­tom up rather than im­posed from the top down.

John McNa­mara, Tea­gasc health and safety spe­cial­ist, is the key speaker at the event, start­ing at 7.30pm.

He said farm­ers are less aware of health main­te­nance than other so­cial groups, an is­sue in need of at­ten­tion.

“Farm­ers think that they are healthy, be­cause they are out in the fresh air do­ing ac­tive work, but the data on pre­ma­ture mor­tal­ity does not sup­port this be­lief.

“Stress is a nor­mal symp­tom of mod­ern liv­ing but if not man­aged prop­erly can lead to a se­ri­ous men­tal health cri­sis,” he said.

The meet­ing will also fea­ture Noreen O’Rahilly, Tea­gasc, and a speaker from An Garda Síochána, who will ad­dress is­sues of ru­ral crime and re­cent changes to road traf­fic laws.

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