There was positive engagement from participants in a consultation event on ‘Building Resilient Rural Economies and Communities’, hosted by the Department of Rural and Community Development in Mallow recently. The event was organised to provide a forum for communities to have an input in the formation of a new five-year policy for rural development.
This was a positive event where participants were able to tell their experience of community development. Policymakers from the Department of Rural and Community Development, who will be tasked with drawing up the five-year plan, were involved in the roundtable discussion on the challenges and opportunities that exist for rural communities. The event was one of two such forums held, with the other in Portlaoise. Participants raised several topics including the development of tourism, alternative energy, and alternative farming, as opportunities for rural communities. It was felt that with the roll-out of rural broadband, rural Ireland will become a more attractive place to live and work.
There was a positive feeling within the room. People did recognise that different communities face different challenges, but that with support from local authorities, central government and Leader groups, there are many opportunities for our communities.