A few hundred acres of land could be transformed into an international hub for a revolutionary socialist movement.
The Land Reform Act of 2016 will change the face of the Republic and the way in which the Republic works, said John O’Donovan, who has spent the last 30 years working with the local communities to help the community make the changes.
The act will allow land to be sold or leased to local people to create a network of land trusts to improve the quality of life of their community.
The changes, which have been backed by an estimated 10,000 people, are set to take effect in July.
Mr O’Dowann said the land trusts would give the people control over the land.
“They will have the power to buy, sell and rent the land they own, they will have their own board of trustees and we will have a democratic system to select the land and the trustees who will run the trust.”
I think we are on the cusp of the most radical change that we have ever seen in the history of the republic.
“The land trusts will be a model for the world and it will be quite a revolutionary change.”
Mr O and his partner, Dr James McGovern, a former Catholic priest, have been working with locals in the North Cork village of Lough Gannon for nearly 40 years.
The couple say they have received a lot of support and donations to help them set up the trust in 2015.
“We have received donations from friends, family and others to help us get on with the project,” said Mr O’Doherty.
“There has been a huge amount of support from local people, people have come to us and said, ‘How can I help?'”
“There is not a lot that we can do to explain what this is, but we are quite confident that it will have an enormous impact on people in the community.”
What the land will be used for will be determined by the trustees and how much money is put in, and we believe that will be very substantial.
“At the moment, there are a few hectares of land which are underutilised and we are looking at developing some of those.”
When the land is developed, it will create a model that could be replicated all over the country.
“Mr McGovern said the Land Reform Bill will provide for a network in which land trusts can operate with a greater degree of autonomy.”
It will give a more democratic structure and we think it will provide a lot more opportunities for people to have their say,” he said.”
If people don’t want to get involved, they can just buy the land, sell it and rent it out.
“This will provide an opportunity for them to have more control over their own land, and I think that will create an entirely new kind of society.”
Mr John O’, the son of a former Irish minister, said the changes will bring an end to the “siege mentality” that has been imposed on rural communities.
“Now, people are looking for a way to make money, but the problem with this is that people are locked in a siege mentality, so they can’t get involved in the political process,” he explained.
“People have to have a sense of hope, they have to see the future and it’s just going to take a lot to get that.”
And that is what the land reform is about, getting people involved in political life and it is also going to provide a sense that you can actually make something of yourself.
“You can do something that will give you a sense for your own future.”
Mr D’Arcy, who works in a furniture factory in the Cork town of Mallow, said he was delighted to see how much support had been shown for the new plan.
“From what I understand, there has been quite a bit of support, both from people in local communities and from the government,” he added.
“So that was a good thing for me.”
The Land Trusts will be run by a panel of three trustees, one of whom will be chosen by the people of the trust, who will be elected in the event of a tie vote.
“In the end, this will be the people’s decision, and if we don’t get it, the trustees will be replaced by a new board,” Mr O said.
Mr McDonagh said the trust would provide an example of how to organise a revolution.
“Our plan is to do things differently and to see it through to its end,” he concluded.
“For us to achieve that is a great step, it’s a step towards socialism.”
That’s why it’s been such a good time to see people coming together and supporting us.