Kollaborative Kinsale – how good could it be ?

If you’re reading this, chances are you care about the town of Kinsale and probably have some questions about what it will be like to live here in 2030 if we don’t fix the traffic, find a use (and a sugar daddy) for the decaying Town Hall,, and make it possible for staff in local businesses to afford to live in their own town !

In the last 20+ years I’ve come to believe that Kinsale is not just the gourmet capital, and home of a mad number of Young Scientist award winners, but that we have in our midst, both the people and the resources to create a thriving and sustainable Future Kinsale that the kids will be proud of.

Never has it been easier to start a business, or raise funding for all manner of projects, or get connected, and yet we have done little (OK nothing !) to tackle climate change, the wealth divide, or just the local traffic and waste pollution.

From the birth of the Transition Towns movement in our own back yard, to Strong Towns in the US, to Kinsale scale cooperatives in small welsh towns, and the growth of technology coops in UK, we are surrounded by opportunity

Earlier this year Forbes published one of several articles explaining how the ‘sharing economy’ has only just got going, and how, as communities, we could all gain so much from looking after ourselves and our resources in new and very different ways.

It doesn’t take a young scientist to know there are enough cars owned by Kinsale residents to take you anywhere at any time – but they’re just mostly lying idle in driveways and car parks. We have unused public buildings and spaces, and a bunch of great ideas for their use, but the entrepreneurs, the creators, and the financial experts, aren’t able to come together. We live surrounded by the most perfect land for growing healthy food, but we still buy cheap white bread baked 100 miles away and water in plastic bottles !

So, what if we set up a cooperative that could take ownership of, and manage public assets like the Town Hall, or even the “SuperValu’ car park, for the benefit of the community ? A cooperative where membership is open to all residents. A cooperative where the aim is to be a thriving healthy community, and to share the amazing resources we have – people, money, land, buildings etc – for the benefit of all.

There is a statue in our town of Peter Barry. Arguably the last person to dare to dream about a great future for his Kinsale. And we’ve been benefiting from his legacy for the last 30+ years. Now we probably need to renew the vision for a Future Kinsale, and one which goes beyond just being a ‘gourmet capital’.

So come and join us 6pm Jan 25th 2019 Trident Hotel, and be part of the conversation. We don’t have a town council any more, but we can have a “Town Hall” meeting

Funding opportunities for 2019 – Communities grants

We might not make it for their Jan 31st deadline, but this is undoubtedly one we should keep an eye on. If you have a project from last year which you think should go forward, let us know if we can help with applying…


What you say you want for 2019

A proper board walk along the quay from the tourist office to trident hotel

Clean sludge from harbour so there can be water at low tide and fill in 30 meters of harbour onto existing car park for more car parking1

Safe cycling paths, foot paths, no parking in town centre, youth cafe, amenities for teenagers,1

For dog owners to pick up their dogs poo,and bin it.🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾1

Motor home parking like Cobh1

Safe coach park near town for our valued tourists.1

Somewhere that accepts household waste ..for a fee ….for caravaners and short term holiday home visitors..I often hear them asking for one.1

Pedestrianised – improve road signs1

Sort parking out. Should have been done 20 years ago.1

How ? Any suggestions? that can’t be explained in less than 10 words 😂.1

Footpaths. Allowing young and old to walk safely into and out of town, school etc.6

Moto parking!2

(Safe) Walking routes. For people to get from their homes to the schools/to work; for tourists to walk to historical sites and out along the head lands. ‘Walking buses’ for school kids within walking distance of schools to decongest roads in the morning. Pedestrianization of some town areas. Refill water fountains. Segregated bins. A civic amenity site that works better. BROWN BINS for everyone entitled to one.3

A small shuttle bus taking in the rural areas not serviced by bus eireann.
Dunderrow, Jagoes mills, browns mills, Charles Fort, the dock, the new developments by the old marsh. None of these are serviced by any form of public/private transport.
Many tourists coming are left to the mercy of taxis to visit iconic areas like Charles Fort and many of the historic sites around the countryside.
Elderly people unable to drive would also be able to avail of this service as well as many more living in rural areas that don’t have cars.
Taxis are great but if you live in dunderrow it’s 20 Euro round trip.
Something to consider as a service or as a business for someone.

 Bicycle parking rack..?4

A community resource centre.

Better car parking facilities close to town and pedestrianise as much of the town centre and Main Street as possible. Agree that high rise parking doesn’t have to be ugly. With a little imagination it could look quite cool. There are a few ideal locations that this could happen4

A loop road around the town.

Loo friendly Kinsale…. ?3

Affordable housing…4

Pedestrian Zone (friendly) downtown.1

Bigger Playground/ skateboard park and facilities for families and children in Kinsale.6

Just for our family to be there to enjoy this wonderful place2

Car park,covered bus station,pedestrianised streets!!!!! Roofs above pubs,no more wet chairs and tables,less litter on streets-> more bins,cinema,indoor playground1

Definitely a better traffic system through town & around the town.5

Additional parking , within a cool landmark piece of architecture which both respects and adds to the look of Kinsale architecturally . Easier parking = more footfall = vibrant town center , and interesting architecture creates interest in a place . A car park can in theory have any type of exterior – who says they have to be ugly functionalist lumps of concrete . I think a Neo-Gothic style might be cool ? Any alternative suggestions out there ?

Free parking. Essential to keep business in town7

Incentives to stop the youth leaving the town

No cars on main st from Bank of Ireland to Fishy Fishy would be amazing!9

I don’t think that would work Barry as buisness would suffer, especially Butcher shop. No one wants to end up carrying heavy bags .2

 for the butchers you could have a brief stop loading bay. The rest of the businesses on that street are tourist related and would be happy I think?2

 I would like that too but as we are already short of parking and there is no spare space in that area it doesn’t look like a runner .

Future Kinsale Update

From Alan Clayton – Chair.

1) We now gave 6 core project teams with nominations for “team coordinator”. Right now the ‘team coordinator” needs simply to contact the other names in the group and arrange to meet for a coffee/beer/cocktail/other, and write a 300 word intro to the 1st project this group is going to undertake. We hope each coordinator will make their presentation on 25th at the initial public meeting.
I will do my best to keep an overview of how all this progresses. If you have other nominations or want to contribute and are not on the list, just shout !! (or better still just go ahead and reach out – emails above). I’m sure it’ll be chaotic, but if everyone contributes a little, amazing things will start to happen.
Groups are……
Transport / Infrastructure – Coordinator: Mike Walsh – contributors Liz Creed, Andy Ashford, Malcolm Hall – 1st Project – Edge of Town Coach Park / Shuttle
Environment / Sustainability – Coordinator: Liz Creed – contributors Tara Shine, Madeline Murray (we know Tara is away in Jan)1st Project – Better Waste Management
Art / Culture / Community – Coordinator: Alan Clayton – contributors Adrian Wistreich, John O’Keeffe, Nora Byrne1st Project – Establish a Kinsale Community Cooperative 
Tourism / Heritage – Coordinator: Adrian Wistreich – contributors Darren Burke, Cian Walsh1st Project – One Stop Kinsale database/portal
Digital / Technology – Coordinator: Abe McIntosh (tbc) – contributors Elasnik/Trevor, Voda Anne O’Leary1st Project – Free WiFi Town
Enterprise / Education – Coordinator: Mike O’Connor (tbc) – contributors Fergal McCarthy, Una O’sullivan, Gearoid Wycherley, Gerry Wrixon 1st Project – Business Hub

2) We now plan a PUBLIC MEETING for Jan 25th – see invitation text below – and please share…
Also please click on Future Kinsale facebook page and invite others – this is important.
And finally please check out the linked blog where coordinators can update the community with progress and news of their projects.

3) ASAP and no later than JAN 6th – each group needs to prepare a 3 minute “pitch” to share details of 1st project in your area of focus. The 3 min need to answer the questions..1) Why this project ? 2) What is the project exactly ? and 3) What are the benefits to the community ? 
Please send this text back to me by Jan 6th, so we can publish them and edit them together for Jan 25th.
Easy right !! 

What might a Kinsale Co-operative Society look like?


A standard definition of cooperatives in the U.S., a user-owned, user-controlled business that distributes benefits based on use, combines the model’s three fundamental principles: user-ownership, user-control, and the distribution of net income based on patronage rather than investment (Zeuli and Cropp 2004). A coop’s user is a person that supplies its raw product (e.g., grain for processing) or purchases its goods and services. The “user-owner” principle implies that the people who use the co-op help finance the co-op in return for ownership shares. Cooperative patrons (or users) become members by investing equity (either up-front or over time) in the cooperative. Members generally contribute thirty to fifty percent of the capital required to finance the enterprise.4 The collective investment of equity creates joint ownership of the business. Cooperatives may receive grants and loans (debt capital) from lending institutions (there are banks that specialize in providing cooperative credit) but there are limitations on receiving equity capital from individuals or organizations that will not patronize the cooperative. Cooperatives may obtain equity from non-members, but the investors may not be granted any voting rights and their returns from the investment are limited by state cooperative statutes (in most states dividends may not exceed eight percent annually).

Self-help community development The self-help model places community members at the core of a development process with two goals: to improve the quality of life within the community and to increase the community’s internal capacity to create further change by institutionalizing the community development process.

A community’s assets include the human, social, physical, financial, and environmental, or taken together what Green and Haines (2002) call “community capital.” By virtue of being locally developed, locally owned and locally controlled, cooperatives clearly build on a community’s human capital, social capital, and financial capital.

The cooperative contribution to human capital development (education, skills, and experience) may be its most substantial community development impact. According to Richardson (2000), the value of leadership training cannot be overestimated: “If I were pressed to select only one from a list of the ten most important components needed for sustainable rural community development, it would have to be leadership training”

The willingness of people to cooperate and trust is a fundamental building block in a cooperative development strategy. Communities with established networks and relationships (civic communities) build trust and make organizing efforts easier.

Concept and objectives for Kinsale Co-operative Society (KCS)

  1. A NFP trust with members who are residing in or have a strong interest in Kinsale.
  2. A ‘self-development co-operative’ which promotes community residents to use local financial resources to create businesses/services and assets that are locally owned and controlled.
  3. A tightly defined list of objectives which are administered by the (elected) trustees and potentially an executive:
  4. Acquisition of assets (eg buildings or land) and business entities for the benefit of the Kinsale community. This should be limited to acquiring a controlling interest, and each entity should be in principle self-financing in due course.
  5. Provision of services for the community (incremental to existing services, not substitutional) which augment the status and quality of Kinsale (eg Kinsale Wifi) – this could include tourism services making Kinsale a better attraction, town management services to improve the living environment for residents or educational services to supplement existing state-run education.
  6. Education in specific skills – eg managing small businesses in the town – potentially through the provision of multi-business supports (eg a hub)
  7. Provide sustainable employment opportunities for residents of Kinsale, especially those without transferrable skills or the wish/ability to work elsewhere.
  8. Investment in small local enterprises and community-based projects to support sustainable futures. It should be able to include some element of risk by the KCS
  9. A robust process of evaluation, monitoring and review of projects and their achievements will be essential.

Governing principles

The principles governing KCS would include the ICO guidelines:

  1. Voluntary and Open Membership
  2. Democratic Member Control
  3. Member Economic Participation
  4. Autonomy and Independence
  5. Education, Training and Information
  6. 6. Co-operation among Co-operatives
  7. 7. Concern for Community


Funds in the form of member shares ,some of which are withdrawable:

  1. A small unit price for minimum membership – non-withdrawable but allows access to the Kinsale Membership Card (eg €10-20 per year). This should be attainable by adults and children/younger members, residents and those visitors who want to benefit from Kinsale offers during their stay
  2. A manageable larger unit with voting rights and withdrawable at par (eg €100-500 per unit)
  3. A Larger ‘charitable donation’ share – this would be in the form of a non-withdrawable donation but could attract benefits
  4. An investor level (private or corporate) share – this might include ethical VC, crowd funding and investment by other co-operatives – the proportion of paid-up capital in this area would be limited.  It might be better to reserve this investment for specific projects (eg JV acquisition of public spaces)

2 and 4 would perhaps attract dividend payments

2 and 3 would include specific benefits:

  1. Listings on a consumer-facing website, brochures etc and participation in promotional events (KCS show etc)
  2. Membership card which offers benefits to local spending
  3. Consulting and marketing support for businesses which participate

Technical solutions

It is important that a system is built to administer KCS, based on online financial management.  Consider:

  1. Automated membership payments
  2. Administration of loans and investments
  3. Loyalty card points-based reward system allowing members to use their card in Kinsale businesses to earn points which can be spent within the community on KCS investments – a virtuous circle investment.
  4. Full financial accountability and governance to benefit from tax breaks etc
  5. Online voting