Few things can strengthen a community better than an active sense of civic pride or a sense of place that encourages people to come together to overcome difficulties in a way that shapes their own and their community’s destiny.
The project in Glengarriff in West Cork, where a group came together to finish abandoned holiday homes so some might be used as permanent homes, is a perfect example of this self-help, help-all dynamic. Yet the final piece of the jigsaw is missing. Cork County Council seems reluctant — and that is putting it kindly — to take the now completed estate in charge.
The council has concerns around the estate’s sewer network and the condition of its water mains but the prospective residents seem happy to resolve these issues to the council’s satisfaction. Planning was granted in 2004 for 23 holiday homes but that project ran into the sand. Seven years ago a group began a repair-and-rescue project but that cannot be completed without the council’s blessing. This kind of delay can hardly encourage others who might be similarly ambitious. Surely the council can do better?