Waiting for community funds
A chara, – I wish to inform your readers of the difficulties facing local community groups in modern Ireland.
Our committee Slí Gaeltacht Mhuscraí was set up to develop community projects in the Gaeltacht Mhuscraí area of west Cork. We applied for funding to the local Leader Partnership Company Meitheal Forbatha na Gaeltachta Teo (MFG). Funding was approved in 2010 and this partnership company duly sent paperwork on to the Department of Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs for its approval.
We commenced work and were informed that we had to comply with all requirements by the Department of Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, including inserting its logo on all brochures, tax clearance certs, etc.
We submitted our invoices for payment in January 2011 and while awaiting payment we heard on the radio that the local leader company (MFG) had gone into receivership. A year later the Department of the Environment has taken over the responsibilities of the Department of Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in processing claims. It has informed us that the West Cork Development Partnership will now pay us our agreed contract amount and that our file is ready for payment. To date we have not received one cent. All partnership companies approved by the Government, and community groups were under the impression that the State would honour all contracts signed.
I would caution all community groups which are spending funds and who have signed contracts with partnership companies that there is no guarantee that they will receive payments. – Yours, etc,