James Claffey- National Rural Network Project Manager
James Claffey was appointed as project manager for the National Rural Network in early 2016. The overall aim of the National Rural Network is to build and sustain a membership-based network that maximises the beneficial outcomes of the rural development programme. James was previously Policy and Communications Officer with Irish Rural Link where he was involved in developing the vision of Irish Rural Link further at national level.

As project manager of the NRN, James manages the day to day running of the network in partnership with the other consortium partners NUI Galway, Philip Farrelly& Co and the Wheel. James holds a Masters in Rural Sustainability as well as a honours degree in Geography and Political Science and Sociological both from NUI Galway.

Noel Kinahan
Policy Researcher, Local Public Banking Project

Noel’s role in Irish Rural Link is a policy researcher, researching existing sustainable models in Ireland and internationally, to bring best practice models to communities within the Irish context. In partnership with the Savings Bank Foundation for International Cooperation (SBFIC), Noel’s principle project has been to advocate for the development of sustainable alternative banking models, based on the German Sparkassen model. Noel is responsible for coordinating the joint activities of SBFIC and IRL in Ireland. Noel also brings extensive project management skills gained through his previous management experience to his role in IRL. In his spare time Noel works with local community groups in his area.

Siobhan Kinahan
Researcher, MICRO, Erasmus+ Project

Siobhan has a Business Studies Degree (BBS) from DCU and a BSc in Environmental Studies (Open University) and has worked in a number of small enterprises in administrative roles. Siobhan works on the MICRO project for rural micro-enterprises as a researcher and also helps to coordinate the six other partners to the project, as IRL is the lead partner. Along with Noel, Siobhan also works on the Local Public Banking project that advocates for a regionally based community bank based on the German Sparkassen model.