The Power of the Few to Impact the Many #50 #cong19


The Power of the Few to Impact the Many is about celebrating the resilience, ambition and vision of the volunteers in the community that impact the whole community and often generations to come.

4 Key Takeaways:

  1. To make things happen, individuals with vision and drive are needed in each community.
  2. Such individuals create impact that can really transform a local community and create an ecosystem for progressive actions to keep taking place.

About Helena Deane:

Helena Deane is the Horizon 2020 Adviser and Project Support Executive at WestBIC, an EU Busines Innovation Centre with HQ in Galway, as well as the Fusion Programe Consultant for Intertrade Ireland and Principal Consultant at Business Connection Ireland based in Cong. Her educational background is in European Business Administration, having graduated First Class in this field from Universities in Cambridge and Berlin. For the last 10 years, Helena has been working with StartUps, SMEs, Universities, ITs and various Public Organisations as a consultant in the areas of R&D and innovation, technology transfer, feasibility analysis, business strategy, planning,

Contacting Helena Deane:

You can connect with Helena on LinkedIn or send her an email

By Helena Deane,

The motivation to write this blog started with a look back, towards all that was achieved in a very small village of Cong, according to the Census of the County Mayo – with the most modest population in the County for those villages recorded.

However, despite this, its community certainly packs a punch. You may say that I am a little biased living here, but it is hard not to be impressed by the drive and ambition of local people, that are keeping the community live and buzzing. I travel very extensively internationally, and one way or another, when I talk to people, they always say that they have heard of Cong, have been there, or wanted to go there. I couldn’t help but be impressed by that. There is a Spanish guy, who – every single time I talk to him tells me just how much he would want to visit, and above all, have a pint in Pat Cohans. He was so obsessive about it, as a joke between us, I created a 3D virtual tour of Cong for him, with a mock-up of a Guinness pint in the pub.

This is a testament to an incredible community here. When I tell people about things happening in Cong – there is so much to tell – from the tourism initiatives such as the Cong Festival, to the Cong Food Village, the Heritage Society, the activities developed around natural resources and beauty – and of course – the Congregation, the list goes on and on. Driven by the community and for the community a community centre was built on the tails of the recession, with numerous challenges and obstacles, a major achievement. More recently, a playground for Cong was opened and the effort didn’t stop there. What is the magic recipe, that makes all this happen? What is the secret sauce?

The answer is the people – very motivated, very driven, very ambitious in what they want to achieve for the local community and, I dare say, visionary. While the number of people in the community is small, and one could say having a small population is a disadvantage, there is serious clout here and what the ‘few’ have achieved certainly impacts the many – the locals, the tourists, the visitors and yes, the County. It is evidence that real impact can be delivered that is felt locally and beyond, by current generations but also the future and this can be achieved in communities that don’t pack huge numbers, showing a small community can punch above its weight. Cong – population of 145.

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