Community groups in Kilkenny are struggling to obtain insurance, partly because of changes in the market caused by Brexit.
The difficulties were raised by local councillors following a presentation by Mags Whelan of the PPN, at the recent meeting of Callan Thomastown municipal district committee.
Cllr Michael Doyle said some insurance companies have left the market, because of Brexit, and this has combined with rising premiums to cause problems for community groups.
Ms Whelan confirmed it is ‘definitely a problem’ that has been ‘raising its head since last year’.
With rising premiums, finding insurance cover is becoming ‘cumbersome’ for groups, she said, especially when many are dependent on fundraising and do not have a regular income.
PPNs across the country are feeding back to the Department of the Environment that this is ‘a major problem’, Ms Whelan told the meeting.
She said it is hoped that grants and other funding coming down the road will include allocations for insurance costs.
One of those funding options has been introduced by Kilkenny County Council under the Graveyard Grants scheme.
Groups who apply for funding under this scheme can now include insurance as an expense. County Councillors approved the change at their last monthly meeting.
Ms Whelan offered the help of the PPN to any groups who are struggling, to help them through the process of finding insurance cover.
Updating councillors on the work of the PPN (Public Participation Network), Ms Whelan said the year ahead is already busy. Rejuvenation in the community work area is happening. Last year a lot of groups didn’t know how to go about their routine work, because of the pandemic, but a bit of positivity is creeping back in.
Cllr Peter ‘Chap’ Cleere praised the ‘fantastic connection’ between the local authority and community groups fostered by the PPN.