Network hopes to transform Lucan village

by Gazette Reporter
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A GROUP of Lucan residents are working together to promote and enhance the village.
The Lucan Village Network was established in late 2012 and was initially set-up to bring together local groups and stakeholders.
The network’s starting point was a shared aspiration to make Lucan village a great place to live, to visit and to do business and, although it is a non-political body, it is chaired by Fine Gael councillor William Lavelle.
Most importantly, the network, in bringing together disparate stakeholder groups, has sought to be more than simply a sum of its individual parts: translating collaboration into a value; and building a movement committed to the betterment of the village, say members.
The network’s current priority has been to prepare funding applications for South Dublin County Council’s Revitalising Villages initiative, which involves a new fund of €165,000 that the council has allocated for village improvement projects across the county during 2013.
The group’s chairman, Cllr Lavelle, said that the work that is being undertaken could transform the village.
He said: “As chairman of the Lucan Village Network, I believe our work in bringing local groups together to map out our shared vision and implement tangible measures will result in us making Lucan one of the most attractive and vibrant urban villages in Dublin, if not Ireland.”
This week, the network walked Lucan village, along with representatives of Lucan Disability Action Group, trying to ascertain how accessible the village is for people with disabilities.
At present, the network is working on a number of initiatives, including developing a unique branding and marketing strategy for Lucan village; holding more events and festivals in the village; highlighting and promoting the village’s rich heritage; and supporting the work of Lucan Tidy Towns in enhancing the visual attractiveness of the village.
Kevin O’Loughlin, of Lucan Tidy Towns, echoed Cllr Lavelle, hoping that the work will see Lucan climb the tables in the national Tidy Towns competition.
He said: “This initiative is just what is needed to encourage greater awareness of the attractiveness and potential of our village. Greater community involvement in improving the environment will, we are sure, lead to even better results in the Tidy Towns competition for Lucan.”
Using the village for events has already been spearheaded by the Lucan Festival, whose chairman, Joe Byrne, is a member of the network.
“Following on from our fourth Lucan Festival, it is great to be part of a wider group with the aim of making Lucan village a place to shop, socialise and increase locals’ knowledge of Lucan’s historic past,” he said.
Residents’ groups are strongly involved with the plan, with Stephen Byrne, chair of the Sarsfield Park and District Residents’ Association, saying that the plan could transform Lucan.
“The Lucan Village Network initiative has the capability to really transform Lucan village and make it a better place to live, work and play.
“Residents have endured parking and traffic congestion over many years, but there finally appears to be a desire to implement changes for the better.”
Cllr Guss O’Connell (Ind) said that nothing could be achieved without working together.
“This is local government at its best, with all involved – elected representatives, traders and voluntary bodies – not only sharing their vision for Lucan, but also ready to put their shoulder to the wheel and actually work in harmony.
“Ni neart go cur le ceile [There’s no strength without unity],” he said.

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