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'Climate Change - An Opportunity for Rural Ireland' - IRL Annual Conference 2019

Irish Rural Link

Monday, 27 May 2019 from 09:00 to 14:30 (IST)

'Climate Change - An Opportunity for Rural Ireland' -...

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ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2019 in the Sheraton Hotel, Athlone on Monday 27th May 2019

Climate Change - An Opportunity for Rural Ireland

With Mr. Phil Hogan EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development 

We will look at how rural communities can contribute to the mitigation of Climate Change in the areas of Agriculture, Energy, Conservation, Transport and the Rural Economy.

Workshops will present case studies and start the conversation.


9.00am             Registration – Tea & Coffee

9.30am             Welcome Seamus Boland/Tom Lavin                                      

9.40am             Conference Opened by

                           Mr. Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development

10.00am           Conference Overview by Dr. Paul Deane, UCC

10.15am           Panel Discussion

Energy Efficiencies – John Randles, SEAI – An overview of Better Energy Communities Grants, opportunities available to community groups and examples of community projects, benefits to communities, energy savings.

Rural Economy – Clodagh Barry, Western Development Commission An overview of the rural economy, level of growth in rural areas, opportunities for green jobs.

Agriculture – Dr Maura Farrell, National Rural Network/ NUIG  -  A background to innovation in Agriculture i.e. EIPs

Natural Environment – Dr. Shane Regan, National Parks & Wildlife ServiceOverview of Peatlands and wetlands communities and how they contribute to mitigation of climate change and the importance of conservation and restoration.

Transport- Margaret Malone of the National Transport Authority IrelandOverview of measures of how public transport is adapting to climate change, especially in rural areas and how public transport can assist in mitigating Climate Change

11.45am               Tea & Coffee

12.00pm               Workshops

Participants in the workshop will hear case studies on the related topics and how these projects are assisting in tackling climate change; providing a social benefit to rural communities.

Workshop 1- McCauley Wood Fuels - Kenny McCauley

Workshop 2- Grow Remote - Bernard Joyce

Workshop 3- European Innovation Partnership BRIDE Project –Donal Sheehan

Workshop 4- Abbeyleix Bog Project – Chris Uys

Workshop 5- Rural Transport Programme- Flexibus – Miriam McKenna

1.30pm                                 Plenary

2.30pm                                 Conference end with Lunch





Do you have questions about 'Climate Change - An Opportunity for Rural Ireland' - IRL Annual Conference 2019? Contact Irish Rural Link

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When & Where

Sheraton Hotel
Gleeson Street

Monday, 27 May 2019 from 09:00 to 14:30 (IST)

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Irish Rural Link

Irish Rural Link (IRL) is a national network of organisations and individuals lobbying for rural development in Ireland. The network provides a structure through which rural groups, representing disadvantaged rural communities, can articulate their common needs and priorities share their experiences and present their case to policy-makers at national and European Union level. It is the only organisation at the social partnership talks that solely represents rural issues.


IRL was established in 1991 by concerned people active in rural development who came together to investigate the need for a rural network to raise rural issues. IRL’s aim is to address the economic, social, educational and cultural needs of rural areas and it has a specific mandate to represent the most remote and excluded communities. IRL members include mostly rural community groups and individuals, who are involved in a wide variety of local community development activities in fields as diverse as tourism, fisheries, local history, culture, women’s groups training and youth work.


IRL lobbies for policies which address the particular problems of social exclusion in the rural areas. IRL campaigns for an increased awareness by policy and decision-makers about the problems of rural development and has made submissions to government on a number of issues. It assists and encourages community groups to get involved in rural development policy and to be aware of the latest developments in this area.

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