Community Development Project Around The Town Of Kinnegad

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I have decided to base my Community Project around something is very close to home for me as I was born and raised in this town, which is the Further Development of the town Kinnegad, County Westmeath.

This project will be based around the campaigning for the building of a secondary school which the town has needed for so long, and while this is a hugely ambitious idea that I could definitely not do myself as a just a college student, I am going to base my project around what I can do to help facilitate the future building of the school – such as setting up meetings in Kinnegad and organising the venues for these meetings, identifying which local green space would be best for the building to go underway and designing posters around the town to promote the campaign. I have also decided to create a survey composing questions about the school, to prove that the general consensus of the area is in favour of building the new secondary school.


  1. My first objective is to analyze, research and investigate the area of Kinnegad and discover and develop the main core reasons for the need for a secondary school in Kinnegad. It will also be important to uncover the negative effects of there not being a school in this area to justify the building of the school, as well as the positive effects the school will bring.
  2. My second objective will be to talk to people in the area in order to grasp their opinion of building the new school and gain an insight into how many people want this to happen and will join the campaign. (This will include town meetings and a survey)
  3. My third objective will be to research an area in Kinnegad which would be suitable that the school could be built and the costs of building the school. I will also plan a place to hold a meeting in the town to talk about the proposed school.
  4. My fourth and final objective will be to apply my theory and research and implement them into what I hope to do in my community project.


The town of Kinnegad (Cionn Atha Gad) - is situated on the M4 main road to Dublin and one of the largest commuter towns on this road with a population that has grown dramatically in the past 3 decades, now 2,900 (Census, 2016). The town’s population has increased so much due to urban sprawl, being just 40 minutes away from the capital city Dublin and 30 minutes from towns such as Maynooth, Kildare town and Athlone. With a huge amount of people working in Dublin it made Kinnegad a very attractive place to live due its short commute.

The town has gone under considerable construction in the last 15 years - with the building of 3 new housing estates including one council housing estate, in 2009 two huge extensions were built onto the St. Etchen’s primary school which now contains over 600 primary school children, the building of the supermarket chain Tesco in 2010 and in June 2019 the “Kinnegad Plaza” will be opening which will contain an Aldi, a Costa coffee, a Supermac’s and an Applegreen garage. With a forever growing population and an expanding town, it is strange to even think why Kinnegad has yet to get its own secondary school.

Talks for the secondary school have been had for years. In 2004, a Department of education report stated that the town would need a school for 700 pupils by the year 2011 – however eight years on from 2011 it seems we are still not even close to it happening. As a town with over 300 young people who leave the town every day in order to travel to a secondary school I think it is an awful shame that these kids must waste their time as a result of not having a local school to walk to in their own town.

With just over 300 people leaving the town every week to go to secondary schools in areas such as Mullingar, Rochfortbridge or even some instances of kids going to Dublin in the morning for school with their parents on their way to work – the school bus costs €25 a week. This is at least €7,500 leaving our town every week, and €67,500 every year, on top of other school costs. This is our communities own money which could be better spent going back into the town as a community and into our businesses. Not only is not having the school a pain on our wallets, we are also leaving behind a massive carbon footprint every week with these school buses and our kids are wasting a huge amount of time travelling every day.

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Kinnegad is the third largest town in Westmeath and has a significant hinterland around it. It has one of the largest rural based primary schools in Westmeath, yet it is not served with its own secondary school. There are many smaller towns around the county with their own secondary school – so why not Kinnegad?

How will this benefit the community

As previously mentioned, the town will be saving a huge amount of money on travel costs as well as halving our carbon footprint. These funds can be put back into our community rather than local bus companies. The school will provide local education, with little travel time involved. Having a nearby school to walk to also promotes physical exercise, it will half travel time and double leisure or study time. The school will also provide jobs for new teachers and will provide construction jobs. Overall, the town and its inhabitants will have a better quality of life with this new school as well as saving their own money.

As part of my community project to further this campaign to get this school built, I decided that I should organise and advertise a meeting to be held to discuss the school prospects. The venue I plan to book to have these meetings in for where many meetings take place. I will contact the manager of Harry’s to book a time slot for the meeting to take place. At this meeting, I intend to hand out a survey to the audience in order to get a consensus of their attitude towards the new school – do they want it, and where do they think it should be built. I will also be handing out this survey outside of Tesco in the town to random people.


With regards to the theory of my community project, the building of this new school would contribute highly to the town and its inhabitants well-being. I can relate this to Aristotle’s virtue theory in which Aristotle explains that everybody has the desire to flourish in life and is central to all human beings. His reasoning for people not being able to flourish in life may be because of their living conditions or in the case of the town of Kinnegad, its local facilities are restricting its inhabitants. The building of the new secondary school will improve the wellbeing by allowing children to flourish academically and locally while also helping the town financially. I can also relate my community project to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, as Maslow emphasises the importance of self-actualization to achieve one’s full potential. However, self-actualization can only be achieved when ones certain basic needs are all met.

Maslow put these needs into the form of a pyramid – they include physiological needs, safety and security needs, love and belongingness needs, self-worth and self-esteem needs, a ‘need to know’ and understanding, aesthetic needs and at the top, Maslow ranks self-actualization needs at the top of the pyramid. The first four levels are the “deficiency needs” as they are all necessary for a persons wellbeing. If a child/student does not meet any of these needs, it will make them less likely to pursue the next three levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which he calls the “growth needs”. While Maslow says that the growth needs of a person can never truly be fully satisfied, the more these needs are satisfied the more people want to pursue them further. Overall, I believe the most important level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that relates to my community project the most are the level of the need for self-actualization due to the educational nature of my projects plan.

Design / Implementation

I looked in to where I think would be a suitable green space for the school to be built – where land is not being used and could possibly be sold – and where would be a suitable and easy for everyone in the town to access. I looked at an aerial map of the town. The most suitable area I found was a green space to the left the housing estate “Tir Croghan” at the very edge of the town on the Mullingar road. This is a main road that goes through the whole town which everyone will have access to – it is also beside the Killucan road which many others will use as a route to get to the school. I found it very difficult to find any information on who owns this field – however it is completely not used apart from a travelling circus sometimes setting up in the field.

I will be handing out 40 surveys to random people outside the supermarket Tesco. The survey will be short and concise and used to get a general notion of what to talk about at the town’s meetings.

I also organised the conference/lounge room in Harry’s Hotel of Kinnegad to be used for the meetings to take place. I did this by ringing the hotels reception and seeing what dates were available to hold a meeting and which would be best suitable.

Survey Questions

  1. Are you aware of the campaign in Kinnegad aiming to set up a new secondary school?
  2. If so, do you think it is a good idea or it is unnecessary? What reasons?
  3. If you have kids in secondary school, how far do they have to travel to get there every morning?
  4. If you could vision the school in this town, whereabouts would it be?
  5. Two meetings to talk about the secondary school in Kinnegad have been scheduled on Friday March 22nd and March 29th. Would you be interested in attending these meetings? If yes, what sort of topics do you think should be discussed?

This survey aims to get a general feel for how the town feels about the current campaign. I will send the results of the 40 surveys to Denis Leonard, the leader and organiser of the campaign in Kinnegad.

Poster hanging up on gate outside Kinnegad playground advertising an up coming meeting. By designing and hanging these posters in an area where a lot of people will go or walk by, awareness for the campaign will be spread around the town. Any one of all ages are welcome to come to the meetings and all opinions are welcome. Tea/coffee will be given out to everyone.

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