2021 marked the 30th Anniversary of the foundation of Irish Rural Link. This marks three decades of representing the interest of rural Ireland in policy formulation in Ireland and Europe, influencing and supporting rural community development and enterprise in an era of rapid change and working to ensure that the needs of those more disadvantaged in rural Ireland are addressed. Over 30 years our activities and that of our members have had a hugely positive impact on the quality of rural life in innumerable ways.
To celebrate this occasion we are planning a half day conference on Friday, 6th May from 9.15am-2pm in the Sheraton Hotel, Athlone Co. Westmeath. The theme of the Day is ‘A Changing Rural Ireland, 1991-2051’. It’s an opportune moment to take stock of the incredible journey Rural Ireland has been on since 1991 and reflect on how this change will likely shape the Rural Irish future.
The conference will be opened by Heather Humphreys Minister for Rural & Community Development. The day will involve two panel discussions, the first looking to the past thirty years and the economic, social and cultural changes the period has brought to rural Ireland. The 2nd panel will cast an eye to the future and the challenges and opportunity the next thirty years are likely to bring. Panelists will be drawn from Academia, Media, Politics, Community Development, Enterprise and Agriculture.
Moderator: Ciaran Mullooly, Community & Social Enterprise Development Officer, Roscommon LEADER Partnership
- Tara Farrell, Chair of Irish Rural Link and CEO of Longford Women’s Link
- Seamus Boland, CEO of Irish Rural Link and President of The European Economic and Social Committee Diversity Europe Group
- Conor Skehan, Lecturer in Environment and Planning, TU Dublin and Irish Independent Columnist
- Dr. Maura Farrell, Lecturer In Rural Development NUIG
- Pat McDonagh, Managing Director of Supermacs, Só Hotels and Plaza Group
- Kate Flood, Community Wetlands Forum
- Mairead Lavery, Irish Farmers Journal
- Larry O’Connell, Director of the National Economic and Social Council
- Fintan O’Brien, Assistant Secretary General Department of Rural & Community Development
- Cllr. Uruemu Adejinmi, Cathaoirleach Longford Municipal District
- Alan Kerry, Local Link Network
Places are limited and unfortunately should it prove necessary due to public health advice the conference will be be moved to a virtual format.