Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin T.D. visited Rathdangan on Monday 20th March where he sampled the tasty fare in the Village Pantry and met with the team behind Rathdangan’s innovative community tea-room and shopping service. Deputy Martin was accompanied by Glendalough-based T.D., Pat Casey who had arranged the visit to highlight the needs of rural Wicklow. Micheál and Pat heard about Rathdangan’s runner-up award in last November’s national Pride of Place competition and the self-help attitude that prevails in this sparsely populated area.
Activities within the Rathdangan community include an annual drama production (on-stage this weekend), monthly dances, teenage discos, development of an amenity area within the village, a community first responders programme and a local history group which is working towards the publication of a book on the history of the area.
Over lunch members of Rathdangan Community Council highlighted some of the challenges facing the community, including concerns over the delay in delivering fibre broadband to the area, and the additional pressure on volunteers arising from changes in the administration of the Community Employment Scheme. The committee stressed the need for supports that are designed to meet the needs of rural communities and the importance of looking after the landscape that makes rural areas such an attractive and healthy place to live.
Deputy Martin was presented with a hamper of local produce and promised to give the Village Pantry a plug on Facebook!