Clones in County Monaghan and Lisnaskea in County Fermanagh look to Europe for cross border funding to help the economies of both towns.
Many border towns in the south of Ireland have suffered because of their proximity to the north. The town of Clones in County Monaghan is surrounded on three sides by Northern Ireland and has had its fair share of hardship.
In the eighties price rises in the south coupled with border road closures, combined to strangle Clones economically.
However Clones is taking control of its future and locals have collected £30,000 to buy the old canal stores with European Union (EU) providing £335,000 for the refurbishment.
The Clones Development Society is keen to draw down further EU Interreg funds available to support cooperation across borders. Funding for a population of over 10,000 comes more easily, so the society is working to bring together villages on both sides of the border in a regional development programme.
Also hoping to draw down funds is the Lisnaskea and Clones Economic Development (LACED). They have developed a cross border integrated rural development plan with Clones and Lisnaskea County Fermanagh as twin anchor points.
LACED secretary June Jordan says
We’re hoping to put Lisnaskea and Clones back on the map, both as a good sound industrial base and as a tourist base.
However international money for such development has to be matched with local funds. Lack of money to match funds is one of the problems highlighted in the border counties report.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 11 March 1994. The reporter is Alasdair Jackson.