Comhar Dún Chaocháin Teo
Comhar Dún Chaocháin Teo is a community development co-operative based in the peripheral, rural, Gaeltacht, North Mayo area of Ireland. It is registered with the Registry of Friendly Societies and its purpose is to promote the linguistic, cultural, infrastructural, educational and social development of the parish of Kilcommon in Erris, and to develop in an integrated and sustainable manner the material and human resources of the area. The Irish name Comhar Dún Chaocháin Teo means "Caochán's Fort Co-operative, Limited". Comhar means "co-operative"; Dún refers to an ancient promontory fort; Caochán was a one-eyed king (caoch meaning "blind") of legend who resided in the fort here during the time of the Ulster Cycle of tales; Teo is short for Teoranta, meaning "limited" in Irish.
The organisation which is based in the Seanscoil (old schoolhouse) in the village of Carrowteige, co-ordinates development at local level from the bottom up, provides information and assistance to local voluntary groups in relation to developing and managing projects, sourcing funding, etc., and has worked in partnership with a number of state and semi-state agencies in its efforts to develop the parish and encourage industry such as the development, mapping and signposting of walking trails along the numerous cliffs in this parish, promoting rural tourism enterprises and development in keeping with the natural resources and traditions of this remote area of Ireland.
Dún Chaocháin walking trails
There are five looped walks in the area surrounding the village of Carrowteige. These vary from 3 km in length to walks which take several hours to complete. Information and detailed maps on the cliff top walking trails can be obtained in the centre in Carrowteige.
Since it was established in 1995 by Treasa MacGearraigh, Comhar Dún Chaochain Teo has developed a wide range of community and Irish language-based projects and services as well as launched several publications of local and historical interest. The organisation has won several awards for their work in the Irish language.
- The local 7th century AD graveyard at Cill Ghallagáin has been mapped, and information gathered on every grave which was published in 2009.
- Local folklorists gathered information on traditions and microtoponyms (local field and place names) which were mapped and published as the "Placenames and Heritage of Dún Chaocháin" (Logainmeacha agus oidhreacht Dhún Chaocháin), a bi-lingual publication dealing with the culture of the Gaelic race. These are records of the oral tradition known by the present generation, now preserved for the future.
- A local development plan for Kilcommon parish was created in 2007 to bringing together the skills, tradition, and culture of North Mayo for future development.
- Currently, Comhar Dún Chaocháin Teo is preparing a publication on the archaeological wealth of the parish.
The co-operative organises training courses, summer camps, Irish pre-school services, an after-school service, festivals, environmental schemes, the development and promotion of Carrowteige loop cliff walks in conjunction with the longer walking trails in the county - the Western Way and the Bangor Trail — and publishes a quarterly community newsletter.
Irish language services help people acquire basic Irish. Maps, information brochures, CD-ROMs, postcards, a library of folklore and Irish language material and photographs are available in the centre at Carrowteige.
Erris farmers market
Comhar Dún Chaocháin Teo created the Erris farmers' market which is held on Saturdays during the summer months in Belmullet town. Growing consumer awareness of food quality, origin, distance travelled, and seasonality prompted the launch of the market. It provides a forum for local producers to develop new food initiatives [clarification needed what does "food initiatives" mean?] and offers shoppers fresh local food including vegetables, free range hen and duck eggs, home baking, fish, herbs & small plants, seaweed products and prepared dishes.
- Nuachtlitir 1, gaeltacht.eu, retrieved 17 June 2010
- An Ghaeltacht, Discover Ireland, retrieved 17 June 2010