Enterprise & Employment

Under this pillar, Comhlacht Forbartha Áitiúil Acla are addressing the need for sustainable, long-term and fulfilling employment in the Parish of Achill.

As part of CFÁA’s mission statement, the company strives to alleviate personal and communal disadvantage by exploring how to develop multi-seasonal employment opportunities in Achill as opposed to seasonal employment.

Through various enterprises and schemes, CFÁA have successfully created employment and enterprise opportunities for the local community of Achill, supporting and creating initiatives including:

  • The Achill Experience, Aquarium and Visitor Centre which has successfully been in operation since 2016
  • Gteic@acaill
  • IT Facility (This service has now been discontinued due to a decrease in demand)
  • Advocating for funding and scheme initiatives to assist with the creation of long-term employment such as the CSP scheme
  • Philanthropic projects as well as providing volunteer and work experience/placement opportunities in the Achill Experience
  • Expanding social enterprise such as developing the Achill Experience which in turn creates further jobs

Environment & Infrastructure

Since the establishment of Comhlacht Forbartha Áitiúil Acla, the company have dedicated their passion, support and resources to the continued preservation of Achill’s natural environment while also maximising its potential for economic development.

By supporting local organisations and the local community, partnering with various agencies and championing our own initiatives, CFÁA have successfully contributed to the development of existing and newly established ventures in terms of Achill’s environment and infrastructures.

CFÁA have proudly supported local projects including:

  • The continued development, preservation and promotion of the Deserted Village and Keel Beach
  • The development of the Keel Playground
  • The continued expansion of the Greenway to Achill
  • The proposed development of the Achill Sound Plaza
  • The sustainment of Inishbiggle
  • The Slievemore Heritage Trail
  • Beach Infrastructure (Life guard station, disability access to beaches, showers & secure storage)
  • Advocating for the improvement of fundamental and essential Parish infrastructures (broadband/Wi-Fi, water system etc.)
  • Public Realm (Achill Sound & Keel)
  • Tackling areas of the Parish affected by coastal erosion
  • The development/re-development and upkeep of walkways/loop walks around the Parish

All projects created and developed under the pillar of ‘Environment and Infrastructure’ will be mindful of the ‘Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2020’ which aims for carbon neutrality by 2050.

Strategic Projects

Using the pillars of ‘Environment & Infrastructure’, ‘Enterprise & Employment’ and ‘Language, Culture & Heritage’ to guide their projects while also working with various agencies and the local community; Comhlacht Forbartha Áitiúil Acla are committed to supporting, collaborating and creating opportunities in Achill to strategically benefit the areas outlined in the CFÁA mission statement.

These projects are intended to not only be created within the community but also ensure Achill has the potential, infrastructures and systems put in place to attract large-scale projects.

Current strategic projects include:

  • The successful development of the Achill Experience Aquarium & Visitor Centre
  • Working with Mayo County Council on the proposed redevelopment of The Village Inn/’hole in the ground’ site
  • The delivery and development of another visitor facility allowing for more historical attractions including VR

Language,Culture & Heritage

Comhlacht Forbartha Áitiúil Acla is driven in supporting, nurturing and developing Achill in terms of its language, culture and heritage. As stated in the mission statement, CFÁA are passionate about promoting the use of the Irish language. To further this passion, CFÁA are engaging with Pleanáil Teanga, a seven year language plan to continue the development, use and implementation of the Irish language within the community of Achill (Click here to  Download)

In terms of heritage, Achill has a rich and fascinating history, which CFÁA recognised must celebrated, archived and connected with. One aspect of Achill’s heritage that CFÁA actively commemorates is the relationship between the Achill and Clevleand.

The Achill-Cleveland Twinning initiative was established in 2003 in collaboration with CFÁA and Cleveland representatives to preserve the history associated with the mass migration of Achill people to Cleveland. This special connection is celebrated through various activities including the yearly Mayo Cleveland Ball and the student-transfer programme whereby Cleveland students are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in Achill while they are in Irish universities. The twinning programme allows that special relationship between these two areas to continue through those who immigrated, those who stayed behind and the next generation of Irish and American descendants.

The history of Achill’s relationship with Cleveland is also captured in the Visitor Centre in The Achill Experience, Aquarium and Visitor Centre. In 2016, CFÁA opened the Achill Experience with the aim to expose visitors to the extensive marine life around Achill’s coastline through an Aquarium and educate guests of all ages on the stories of the parish history in a Visitor Centre. In addition to the Achill-Cleveland Twinning, the Visitor Centre documents many other aspects of Achill’s history such as The Kirkintilloch Tragedy, The Achill Pipe Bands, The Achill Mission Colony, and Achill’s association with artists Heinrich Böll, Robert Henri and Paul Henry as well as the story of The Deserted Village, including a replica Boley House. It is hoped that CFÁA will expand the Visitor Centre in the near future, allowing for more elements of Achill’s history to be explored while also incorporating virtual reality programmes.

To further celebrate Achill’s culture and community, every year CFÁA produce ‘The Achill Link’, a publication detailing exciting events of the past year in the Achill community. This is an extremely special yearly magazine to the Achill community both at home and abroad, with all the articles being written by local people as well as providing local businesses the opportunity to advertise their business. You can pick up your copy of the Achill link in all local shops or through the Achill Experience online shop.