‘PPN’s are a great way for voluntary groups to have voice heard’

‘PPN’s are a great way for voluntary groups to have voice heard’

By Mary Dennehy

A FORMER councillor from Limerick has been appointed as the new South Dublin County Public Participation Network (PPN) co-ordinator.

Kieran Walsh has started his new role with the local PPN, which represents more than 700 community, environmental and social inclusion groups through participation and consultation with South Dublin County Council.

Kieran Walsh PPN 1

Kieran Walsh, is the new South Dublin County Public Participation Network (PPN) co-ordinator

The 38-year-old told The Echo that he is “well versed” in local democracy after serving as a local councillor in his native Limerick from 2003 to 2009 – during which time he served as a Labour Party councillor and then as an Independent.

“PPNs are a great way for voluntary groups to have their voice heard at a local level, and it was an easy decision for me to make in accepting the role”, Kieran said.

“I have a strong interest in local democracy and I really believe that local people know what is best for their community.

“My background is rooted in community activism, administration and governance.

“The PPNs are an independent organisation with a clear vision on how to interact in a collaborative manner with the local authority, and I am looking forward to implementing the workload.”

Kieran is taking over the reigns from Mary Dolan, who moved on from the PPN in February.

In one of his first messages to the community on behalf of the PPN, Kieran encouraged those living across south Dublin County to engage with the County Development Plan 2022 – 2028 review.

“The PPN is actively encouraging people to contribute”, he said.

“At the moment, South Dublin County Council are looking for submissions online and we would encourage every group to make a submission.

“It’s a simple process and the council have outlined their eight key strategic issues.

“I will be liaising with our membership to make our own submission.

“If there are groups out there who are unsure of how to make a submission, drop me an email and one of our staff will be on hand to help.”

While the current situation with Covid-19 will impact on the PPN delivery of public gatherings and events, Kieran believes that new changes to how the network operates can still facilitate and support public participation.

“We have changed the way we work and live, and credit goes to everyone in the county for playing their part in the response”, he told The Echo.

“I hope to roll out a series of online events to keep all our members actively engaged in the process of participatory democracy.

“I’m available to everyone, so feel free to drop me an email to arrange a virtual meeting.”

Email Kieran at kieran@sdcppn.ie or visit www.sdcppn.ie.

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