Rural Ireland

  • Keenagh Community Development Council has shot a video in the hope of attracting people to come and live in the North Mayo area.

    A spokesperson for the council says like all rural communities in the west of Ireland, they have seen a decline for various reasons and have decided to take a stand.

    The video outlines the amenities and facilities available to those who live in the area, as well as hearing from a man who moved from the UK to Keenagh for a better quality of life.

    The council hopes that with the current housing crisis and more affordable housing available in their area, people will want to make the move west.

    Check out the video below and find out more on their Facebook page here or by emailing for more info on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

  • Funding of €1,150,000 has been announced today for the Céide Fields Visitor Centre in Ballycastle.

    Fáile Ireland will invest €860,000 in the project and this will be coupled with €290,000 funding from the Office of Public Works.

    The grant support, which forms part of Fáilte Ireland’s strategic partnership with the OPW, comes from its Capital Grants budgets and will replace the existing Céide Fields Visitor Centre with a brand new exhibition and interpretation centre.

    The space will replace the current 25-year-old centre and showcase new archaeological material and knowledge about Céide Fields and the surrounding areas.

    It is hoped the investment from Fáilte Ireland into the centre will help to significantly improve the visitor experience and almost treble visitor numbers from 33,148 to 90,000.

    Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring told Midwest News today that this is very welcome funding for the Céide Fields.


  • The Government's being accused of leaving young people in rural Ireland stranded without cars.

    Fianna Fail's Transport Spokesperson says Minister Ross is forcing young people to wait months on end to get a driver's licence - after failing to hire enough driving test instructors.

    Deputy Robert Troy says it's impossible to get around rural Ireland without access to a car and he claims young people are being denied access to jobs, education and a social life.

  • The Irish Farmers' Association has warned that more needs to be done to tackle illegal dumping in the countryside.

    It says over the Christmas season there's a significant increase in littering, as people dump cans, bottles, used wrapping paper and even the leftovers of Christmas dinners.

    The IFA is calling on local authorities to develop a post-Christmas plan that would deter people from dumping rubbish.

    IFA Environment Chairman Thomas Cooney wants to see more sanction in place for serial dumpers, and changes to legislation so that farmers are no longer held legally responsible for reckless dumping by others....

  • A public meeting will take place in the Hodson Bay Hotel in Athlone next Monday night, to discuss concerns about the National Planning Framework. The Government is currently drafting a plan for the country until 2040 , and will become the basis for future development in urban and rural areas of the country for the next two decades. However, there are concerns among public representatives across the political divide that some aspects proposed in the plan would impact negatively in western areas, and throughout many parts of rural Ireland – for example in relation to one-off housing. Independent Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice, Fianna Fail TD Eamon O’Cuiv and Labour Party TD Alan Kelly will outline their concerns at next Monday night’s public meeting, which gets underway at 8pm. Deputy Fitzmaurice claims the draft Ireland 2040 Plan will further undermine this region.

  • Rail services to Mayo, Galway and Sligo are among those under threat unless Irish Rail receives a 460 million euro cash injection.

    That’s according to a front page story this morning in the Irish Independent.

    The Government has been warned that Intercity services face being cut, unless a massive investment is sanctioned to compensate for years of under-funding.

  • A review of the National Broadband Plan would "plunge the whole project into uncertainty" according to the Communications Minister.

    He was responding to a Fianna Fáil motion calling for an urgent examination of the controversial process.

    The huge project has only one remaining bidder after Eir withdrew.

    But Minister Denis Naughten says a review will be counter-productive

  • The Taoiseach has promised that no railway lines will be closed under his leadership.

    Speaking in the Dail yesterday, Leo Varadkar insisted that no rail services are facing the axe, despite the financial pressures facing Irish Rail.

    He was responding to reports earlier this week that a number of Intercity services could close, unless a significant investment was allocated by Government.

    The Taoiseach pointed out that in the past ten years, much of which was a very difficult period of budget cutbacks, no railway lines were closed in rural Ireland or any other part of the country.

    He said we are now in a position to invest in our railways again and to increase Iarnród Éireann's subvention, which has increased by 35pc in three years.

    The Taoiseach assured Deputies that, “having got through the worst recession in a generation without closing any railways, we are not going to start doing it now".

  • The National Broadband Plan contract  looks set to be signed today.

    The deal is to get approval from the cabinet after the EU ruled the contract complies with state aid rules.

    Cabinet Ministers are meeting at the earlier time of 7.30 this morning to sign off on the National Broadband Plan contract.

    Communications Minister Richard Bruton is expected to ask the government to approve the almost 3 billion euro plan to roll out broadband across Ireland.

    It's likely the contracts will be signed with National Broadband Ireland this morning on the back of cabinet approval.

    The project aims to roll out broadband to 540,000 homes, farms and businesses - providing high speed internet to around 1.1 million people.

    The project hasn't been without controversy.

    Delays and setbacks involved a number of firms pulling out of the bidding for the contract.

    A number of opposition parties have also demanded that the broadband network should be publicly owned, as the state is investing three billion euro in the process.

    That's likely to become a lot more difficult after the contracts are signed.

    The broadband plan looks set to be a big part of Fine Gael's pitch to voters in the upcoming general election