Irish Rural Network

The Irish Rural Network´s ambition is to maximise the impact of the Rural Development Programme by bringing it into the lives of as many people and communities as possible, and by communicating its key opportunities and outputs to all relevant stakeholders.


Telephone number: 
+353 (03) 9064-82744
Email address: 
Contact persons: 
James Claffey
Maura Farrell
(LEADER/CLLD, Innovation/EIP, Best Practice)
Philip Farrelly
(Biodiversity, Climate Change)
Seamus Boland

NSU operation

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. This aim will be achieved through the following objectives:
Raising awareness of key issues of rural concern identified by the RDP and identifying best practice models within a national and international context that can be disseminated to relevant stakeholders 
Creating a collaborative process between relevant stakeholders to enhance the delivery and quality of the RDP
Establishing a supportive themed working group system which will act on key themes emerging from the Rural Development Programme
Facilitating communication of the RDP-outputs to targeted stakeholders and groups
Supporting the Managing Authority in its networking, dissemination and communication objectives
Gathering best practice in all relevant areas and communicating and disseminating to all key stakeholders and groups;

Who can join the network?
The National Rural Network membership is open to everyone. Anyone with an interest in the Rural Development Programme is eligible for membership. 
How to get involved?
The NSU have identified a number of governing themes for which interested members can receive specific and relevant information. The first five themes will be:
(1) Knowledge Transfer & Advisory Services
(2) Agri-environment & Climate Change 
(3) Biodiversity & Organic Farming 
(5) Viability & Competitiveness of the Farming Community

There is one national Network Support Unit, which is outsourced to an external service provider.
The NSU and Managing Authority regularly meet on a quarterly basis to discuss progress made and potential actions for the upcoming quarter.
The Managing Authority has provided the NSU with a contact list specifying who are responsible for the various schemes under the RDP. 
The NSU has made initial contact with the individuals responsible for the different schemes and have plans to regularly coordinate over the course of the RDP.

Coordination body
The Consortium coordinating Group (CCG) is the decision-making group, which conducts its business in the spirit of collegial and professional problem-solving amongst equals. The CCG has agreed to meet every month for the first six months, then meets every two months for the remainder of the first year. After the first year, the CCG will meet every quarter thereafter.

The Consortium Coordinating Group (CCG) is comprised of the four organisations which formed the consortium to deliver the National Rural network project from 2015 – 2020: Irish Rural Link, NUIG, Philip Farrelly & Co and The Wheel. It is chaired by the Chairman of Irish Rural Link.

Oversee and direct the creation of a National Rural Network in Ireland, which will meet its purpose and aims. 
Oversee and direct the creation and implementation of action plans, for the setting up and running of the NRN. 
Ensure that the consortium works in a cohesive, coherent and value-adding manner over the lifetime of the project. 
To oversee the financial management of the project budget (acknowledging the primacy of the board of directors of Irish Rural Link in this regard). 
To act as a sounding board / provide advice to the project implementation team where needed.

Budget (€)
Total NRN public funds: 3 000 000 
Out of which national co-financing: 1 410 000
Out of which EAFRD: 1 590 000 

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