Tommy Ryan, CEO, Cavan County Council.

Shop local and stay safe - County Council CEO

Tommy Ryan, chief executive of Cavan County Council, has this message to the people of Cavan in the run up to Christmas as he reflects on the past 12 months:

“While most of the past year has been dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, we can look back with pride in how the people of Cavan have rose to the challenges that have faced them throughout the year.

“The COVID-19 vaccines brought hope and protection against serious illness, but we must recognise that the fight against COVID-19 isn’t over yet and we must continue to all do our bit to protect each other and the vulnerable in our communities. We must continue to adhere to the Government advice and limit our social contacts where possible. Understandably many people may find the latest restrictions difficult, it is important to remember to protect your physical and mental well-being as we face the most recent challenge the pandemic has presented.

“Cavan County Council along with Healthy Ireland launched a number of initiatives in our towns and villages to encourage people to get out and stay active and, through the Community Enhancement Scheme, funding has been granted to improve local parks and playgrounds to encourage people to come out and use the fantastic facilities available to them while also promoting improved health and wellbeing.

“After several extremely tough months for our business community, who sacrificed their livelihoods to safeguard public health, we ask the people of Cavan to shop locally this Christmas. Local businesses continue to be supported in developing their capacity to trade online with €105,000 in online trading vouchers approved through the Local Enterprise Office (LEO).

“The Trading Online Voucher Scheme is funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment and is supported by the successful ‘Look for Local’ campaign, which is run in partnership with the Local Authorities and Enterprise Ireland. The campaign aims to highlight small County Cavan businesses in every sector, asking that people continue to build on the recent groundswell of support shown to local businesses when looking to buy goods or services.

“Other supports such as online seminars, training and mentoring continues, through the Local Enterprise Office Cavan, to help businesses adapt and look forward as they rebuild their trade in an everchanging and unpredictable business environment.

“Small businesses and retailers are the lifeblood of our towns and villages, providing vital economic activity and employment opportunities. They have faced unprecedented challenges since March 2020 and Cavan County Council will continue to support them as much as possible. The Christmas Lights Grant Scheme was also made available for communities again this year to help to create a festive atmosphere in our towns and villages in this difficult year and the need to stay local and support local businesses.

“This year the second annual ‘Cavan Day’ celebration took place on the 25th of September, building further on the success of last year’s inaugural event. Cavan Day provides us with an opportunity to acknowledge the success of the Cavan Diaspora and allows the Cavan family throughout the world to celebrate their connections and pride in the county, taking to social media and creating a ‘blue wave’ online by sharing photos and memories of Cavan. The ‘Cavan Day Live’ online broadcast showcased the rich artistic talent on offer throughout the county. This Christmas we will remember the global Cavan family and hopefully we can look forward to welcoming them back home.

“We look forward to 2022 with the hope that the continued success of the vaccine programme will provide the best protection against Covid-19 and while the virus has shown its unpredictability at times, we must face any challenges that come our way with the same resilience and community spirit that the people of Cavan have shown throughout the pandemic.”