Our Work

Overall Aim

To secure the existence of substantial numbers of viable communities in all parts of rural Ireland where every person would have meaningful work, adequate income and social services, and where infrastructures needed for sustainable development would be in place.


Strategic Priority 1

  • Continue to develop as a visionary organisation in the field of rural community development


  • IRL is a  key independent and influential rural community based organisation, influencing good practice and progressive and creative policy formation

Strategic Priority 2

  • Influence Policy Development and Implementation at Local National and European levels towards a sustainable vision


  • IRL in voicing rural policy has the skills and strategy to effectively influence sustainable policy development and sustainable policy implementation at national and EU levels

Strategic Priority 3

  • Facilitate and promote social and economic development initiatives in rural areas


  • IRL is the key community based organisation promoting sectoral networks that cohese rural communities of interest for the promotion of social and economic development.


Strategic Priority 4

  • Strengthen and build the capacity of IRL members   
  • IRL is supported by a strategically developed active membership representing a profile of rural volunteers, community organisations and professionals working in rural community development.


IRL’s Plans

  • Develop grater link between all advocates of community based development within Ireland and the EU.
  • Ensure that groups affected by social inclusion or disadvantage have a continued voice
  • Assist communities with innovative ideas that support rural communities.


Representation on External Bodies:

As well as being involved in Social partnership Irish Rural Link represents rural interests on a wide range of external bodies & boards.


  1. Chair of Pobal
  2. Member of the Community & Voluntary Pillar (only member representing rural)
  3. Chair of the Peatlands Council
  4. Member of CEDRA
  5. National Rural Water Services Committee
  6. Member of European Economic Social Committee
  7. Community Outreach Eircode Programme Joint Coordinator
  8. Economic & Social Infrastructure Operational Programme. Administered by the Department of Transport, this committee monitors work undertaken as part of the NDP.
  9. Productive Sector Operational Programme. Also an NDP monitoring committee. It is administrated by the Department of Enterprise and Employment.
  10. NESF – National and Economic Social Forum.
  11. National Transport Forum.
  12. Full member of NESC.
  13. Carnegie Commission for Rural Development. The Carnegie Trust based in Dunfermline, established this commission, chaired by David Steel, former Liberal Party leader, to “carry out a research programme, promote debate between policy makers and local communities and support the exchange of good practice nationally and internationally”.
  14. The Wheel.
  15. Consumer Liaison Panel Department of Agriculture.
  16. Rural Agri Tourism Committee.
  17. Rural Coordinating Committee.
  18. Social Inclusion committee.
  19. Farm Safety Authority.
  20. Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice’s Minimum Essential Budget Advisory Group.
  21. NGO working group on fuel poverty.