What's CEDRA and why is Pat Spillane the chairman of it?
We learned today that the former Kerry GAA star and RTE pundit Pat Spillane was named the Chairman of the CEDRA. But want is CEDRA and why is Pat in charge?
So what is CEDRA? Is it the new Legion of Doom, or something?
Well no, Pat Spillane hasn’t become the new chairman of an evil alliance of super villains – although some might think he already has. CEDRA actually stands for the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas. CEDRA’s main goal is to find the economic potential of rural Ireland and how best to channel funding and resources between now and 2025.
Right, but what does Pat have to do with any of this?
It’s obviously a matter that’s close to Pat’s heart and he seemed like the perfect candidate for the job, given his references.
Here’s what Minister Phil Hogan had to say: "Pat Spillane is the ideal candidate to act as Chairman of the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas. He has been a leader throughout his life, whether it be on the sporting field, where he won 9 All-Star awards, in his professional life as a School Principal in St. Gobán’s College, Bantry or in his media career.
“Coming form a rural area Templenoe in County Kerry, where he lives with his wife and three children, and helping since his childhood days in running the family pub business, he has direct experience of the challenges facing rural Ireland.
"He is a passionate, enthusiastic and non-partisan champion of rural issues. Pat will do a great job in working with the Commission to deliver recommendations to create jobs in rural Ireland."
Sounds like Pat is the man for the job then? So is this some new government body or what?
Pat himself has said that the new CEDRA is not a quango and it’s certainly not a talking shop. It’s a commission that’s been set up by the government to address the issues that rural people might have off the farm. In fairness, Pat seems pretty adamant that this is going to work well for the rural people of Ireland.
But what exactly will he be doing?
There will be up to 20 public meetings held across the country in spring 2013 and Pat will be there to listen to what people have to say. He’ll be looking for regular Joe Soaps and business heads alike to come together and share their ideas of how to get rural Ireland back in the money.
So when will we start seeing results from CEDRA?
The Commission is expected to report back in October of next year so we’ll find out how rural Ireland can be helped in a little less than a year.