As chairman of Irish Rural Link I attended, along with over 400 other delegates from all over Scotland, the inaugural Scottish Rural Parliament last November, the culmination of years of hard work by the organising committee with support from the Scottish Government. Rural Parliaments are a growing European rural movement that offer people who work and live in rural Europe an opportunity to develop a shared vision for their rural areas that is captured in this quote from the vision statement of the Scottish Rural Parliament, ‘ it is important that those who live and work in rural Scotland are not disadvantaged by challenges arising from their location, and that rural life is sustainable socially, economically and environmentally in the long term and for future generations.’ [Read more…] about Call For A National Tidy Towns Network
Press & Events
Irish Rural Link- – the national network representing the interest of rural communities is disappointed by Bus Eireann’s announcement that they are planning to cut almost 100 services in rural towns and villages. Bus Eireann plan to cut their daily services from 198 to 105 each day, leaving many rural communities at risk of isolation
Irish Rural Link continues to call for a public enquiry into Bus Eireann to identify which routes are subsidised by public finances, how much each route is receiving and which routes are profitable. Without this information it is difficult to understand the scale of the problem and possible solutions.
Irish Rural Link also continues to call on Government to create an assigned protocol for the closures of rural services such as bus routes, schools, banks, post offices etc. IRL has repeatedly stated that any proposed bus service cuts should only be acted on when a proper socio economic assessment of its impact on the well being of local communities is assessed.
For further information, please contact (anytime):
Seamus Boland (Chief Executive) 0862491153 or James Claffey (Policy and Communication Officer)
About Irish Rural Link:
Irish Rural Link represents the interests of locally based rural groups in disadvantaged and marginalised rural areas by highlighting problems, advocating appropriate policies, sharing experiences and examples of good practice. It has a membership of nearly 500 rural community groups dedicated to sustainable rural development and represents rural communities at a national and international level.
Irish Rural Link is proposing that Rural Protocol should be first consulted before the closure of any services in rural Ireland. Such a protocol might save a great deal of negative energy and anxiety expended by rural communities in order to defend, what seems to be an ongoing attempt to disenfranchise rural areas. So, before outlining it in more detail, let me put the need for such a protocol in context.
In rural Ireland, services have a habit of closing. Among the more prominent are the Post Office branches, Bank branches, national schools, pubs, shops and not to mention the occasional downgrade of hospitals from time to time. Yet all national and European union policy points to the urgency to renew rural communities so that they can become sustainable in economic and social terms. Currently there is much anticipation of the implementation of the CEDRA report launched by An Taoiseach in April 2014 and the implementation of the European Union Rural Development package, with particular interest in the new LEADER programme.
[Read more…] about Rural Protocol
December 2014 marked a change in Irish society, the small community of Ferbane in west Offaly decided to rally together to stop the closure of their Ulster Bank branch. Over a thousand people from the locality turned out on the streets to show their commitment to Ulster Bank with a further show of solidarity scheduled for Friday 23th January in Athlone. (See www.Ferbane.ie for more details)
Ulster Bank have previously stated it would not close a branch in a town where it is the only Bank. Ulster Bank must honour this statement; the impact of such closures has a devastating effect on rural communities such as Ferbane. The residents of Ferbane and the surrounding areas have built a 94 year relationship with Ulster Bank that must be retained. [Read more…] about West Offaly takes a stand against Ulster Bank.