Call for proposals under new €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund Supports

Minister Ring launches call for proposals under new €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund Supports, which will start at €500,000, will strengthen rural communities and economies and improve quality of life

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, T.D., today launched the first call for proposals under the Government’s new Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.

The Fund will provide €1 billion in investment over the next 10 years to support the renewal of small towns, villages and outlying rural areas, as part of Project Ireland 2040. Initial funding of €315 million is being allocated to the Fund on a phased basis over the period 2019 to 2022. The Fund will be administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development.

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Call for more Investment in Rural Transport following Drink Driving Bill being passed in Dáil

Irish Rural Link Call for more Investment in Rural Transport following Drink Driving Bill being passed in Dáil

Irish Rural Link – the national network representing the interest of rural communities are cautiously welcoming today’s passing of the new Drink Driving Bill in the Dáil.

While we welcome that this Bill will go some way towards reducing the number of deaths on our roads, it has really highlighted how much people in rural areas are dependent on a car to get them places due to the complete lack of a robust public transport system.

IRL welcome the extension of the Local Link services to evenings and weekends, but this is a pilot scheme with a very short timeframe. Also, it is not servicing every town and village nor some of the more rural counties.

While we understand that a bus cannot go down every by road, there needs to be more supports for a rural car or hackney scheme for communities so people can access some form of transport. The Bill doesn’t just impact on people going to the pub but also can impact on them the morning after driving to work or college.

IRL are calling for real investment by Government to be now made in rural transport – and a range of appropriate transport models for areas to ensure people do not become further isolated or further removed from employment and other services.





Irish Rural Link (IRL) are today welcoming the announcement by Government that they are establishing a stakeholder consultation group to fully investigate a model of public community banking for Ireland.  CEO of IRL, Seamus Boland in welcoming today’s announcement said, “IRL are delighted that the Government and Minister O’Donoghue have re-affirmed their commitment to a public banking model for Ireland.  IRL brought this proposal to Government when the country was in the midst of the worst economic crisis in the history of our State, when SME’s were closing as a result of the inability to access funding and in a period when the pillar banks had not only failed but had bankrupt the country in the process.  IRL recognised the need to explore a third tier of banking similar to the relationship models of banking which had survived the test of time throughout Europe and who had continued to support and grow local enterprises throughout times of economic turbulence.”

He continued, “IRL have firmly put the requirement for a public banking model in Ireland on the Government’s agenda, by not only ensuring its inclusion in the Programme for Government, but also in our continuous lobbying at National level through politicians, chambers of commerce and business groups and today is recognition by Government that they have listened to the needs of the greater community, the need for a relationship banking model, the need for access to finance for SMEs and the need for a model of banking that is regionally based and one which will be sustainable and robust in periods of economic turbulence.”

What next?  Seamus concluded by confirming that the next stage in this investigative process is the establishment of a stakeholder forum to consider all existing models of public banking and to ascertain which model or combination of models would be most suited to Ireland and he says that “Irish Rural Link as the organisation who have brought this proposal to the table and as the organisation who has ensured that the need for public banking is firmly on the Government’s agenda now welcomes the opportunity to continue to work with Government and all stakeholders as part of this investigative forum and look forward to the establishment of public community banking in this country.”

IRL Launch Report on Poverty and Social Inclusion in Rural Ireland


Irish Rural Link launched report “Poverty and Social Inclusion: The Case for Rural Ireland” on the 18th October to mark UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

The report highlights that poverty and social exclusion is not just an urban issue and is very much evident in rural areas. It can be exacerbated in a rural setting due to the lack of services, such as transport, broadband and low-paid employment.

The full report is available here

Findings of the report were presented in Buswells Hotel, Dublin 2 where TD’S and Senators were invited to attend.

In the picture above are Seamus Boland, IRL and Tara Farrell, Longford Women’s Link and Board of IRL with Deputy Trevor O Clochartaigh, TD Deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony, TD and Deputy Danny Healy-Rae, TD