Rathkeale aims to create vibrant, thriving town. An aerial view of Rathkeale Town. Photo: Ray Hogan
On 30 May 2023 in the Community Centre, Limerick’s Rathkeale Community Council reorganised to help residents rejuvenate their town
The Rathkeale Community Council now advocates on behalf of the community, petitions for support, and organises projects and events, with the intent of creating a vibrant, thriving Rathkeale where positive experiences make people want to live, shop and visit. Its expanded purpose includes rejuvenation, is supported by a new set of Guiding Principles, an updated Constitution, and a reorganised Executive Committee (Board).
It also incorporated the Team Rathkeale business group, creating one representative organisation for the town.
The reorganised Board is led by Chairperson, David Lamont. Vice Chairpersons now focus on specific elements of the mission and have teams. Pat Neville is Vice Chairperson for Place Development.
DerekDownes is Vice Chairperson for Economic Development, representing the favoured Business Constituency. Seamus Hogan is the Community Liaison Officer engaging with similar minded organisations and voters. Valerie Foley is Vice Chairperson for Tourism and Events.
Podge Doherty is Vice Chairperson for the Treasury. The Council will add a Vice Chairperson for Traveller Interests representing the favoured Traveller Constituency, a Vice Chairperson for the Secretariat and a Board Vice Chairperson.
“The people of Rathkeale are determined to reverse the cycle of decline that affects our town,” said David Lamont, Chairperson of the Rathkeale Community Council.
“Rathkealers will make the most of our amenities, access, and affordability, making the town a more attractive place to new residents, shoppers, and visitors.”
Rathkeale is just off the N21 between Adare and Newcastle West on the River Deel in County Limerick. It will soon be at the elbow of the Foynes to Limerick motorway, shortening drive times to and from Limerick City. It is the start of the Limerick Greenway, where a new visitor hub is under construction.
Unlike other small towns it has a secondary school, a supermarket, hotel, restaurants, Fáilte Ireland Tourist Point, community centre, bars, post office, credit union, library, garda station, fire station, industrial estate, water treatment facility, high speed broadband, as well as enviable clubs and societies.
With a low crime rate, Rathkeale is one of the most affordable towns in the county with proposed zoning to add 28 per cent more houses.
Like other rural town, Rathkeale is contending with the loss of retail space, dereliction, inadequate support from local authorities, public inertia, and activist burnout. Uniquely, about 1 per cent of migrant Travellers have houses in Rathkeale, resulting in a low occupancy rate, segregation, seasonal shenanigans, and negative publicity.