Kerry E’lyn worked to support the development of the Galway City LETS, a local currency system which aimed to increase community self-reliance and lessen social exclusion. Members of the Galway LETS traded goods and services for Corribs, the project’s local currency.
The idea was that as the Corribs circulated within the system and members got to know each other, bonds of trust and interdependence would be created and strengthened, building Galway’s social capital, crucial in an age of individualism and community break-down.
Kerry E’lyn carried out desk research and conducted interviews and focus groups with members of local currency systems in Galway, around Ireland, in the UK and in the US, with a view to making the Galway LETS project both sustainable and effective.
Following on from this research, Kerry E’lyn and her colleague Mairéad Lineen concluded that while most such models seem to be fatally flawed, other models of community currencies might succeed where LETS have failed. They write, “The project pointed up the lie of economics: that we are individuals more than we are part of a whole and that we can meet our needs if separated… and that the flow of energy among us can be divided, measured, and reduced to quarterly bank statements.”
Kerry E’lyn is currently working in community development, living in a housing co-operative, and is involved in the creation of a sustainable community/ecovillage in the west of Ireland.
Kerry E’lyn also works in partnership with the Rahoon Family Centre and supports young people of secondary school age living in Droim Chaoin and adjacent estates. The Rahoon Youth Project delivers a programme of afterschool one to one and group developmental and educational supports, recreational and outdoor activities, drugs awareness training and school holiday away trips.