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Father James McDyer had been active since the 1950s in promoting social welfare and economic development in order to stem emigration and retain the area's Irish culture. He was very well aware of the formidable obstacles to development in Southwest Donegal and the West of Ireland generally. Remoteness from markets, poor infrastructure, local conservatism and lack of capital, together with weak industrial tradition and lack of support from central government all combined to make modern industrial development difficult. He came to the conclusion that “if we were going to get anywhere we’d have to do it ourselves” and founded the first cooperative in the area in 1961.
Check out this wonderful item about him HERE
Norman Fuller, 1983: 'Working in Father McDyer's knitting cooperative'