Irish Rural Link (IRL), formed in 1991, is a national network of organisations and individuals campaigning for sustainable rural development in Ireland and Europe. A non-profit organisation, it has grown significantly since its inception and now directly represents over 600 community groups with a combined membership of 25,000.
Irish Rural Link (IRL), formed in 1991, is a national network of organisations and individuals campaigning for sustainable rural development in Ireland and Europe. A non-profit organisation, it has grown significantly since its inception and now directly represents over 600 community groups with a combined membership of 25,000. Irish Rural Link is the only group represented at the national social partnership solely representing rural communities’ interests.
‘Our vision is of vibrant, inclusive and sustainable rural communities that contribute to an equitable and just society’
IRL’s overall aim is to;
1. To help support viable communities in rural Ireland where every person would have meaningful work, adequate income and social services, and where infrastructures needed for sustainable development would be in place.
2. To highlight, publicise and respond to key rural issues through operational projects and programmes.
IRL encourages its various members to form single issue networks within the umbrella of the organisation. The benefits of forming single issue networks include:
• Support experts, who are knowledgeable about their area of interest.
• Allows the interest groups to participate at the heart of policy making and in that context bring greater integrity to the problems and opportunities that may materialise.
• The wider membership of IRL is also better informed and because of that is more likely to take into account the issues that affect rural communities.
• The agreed policy, because it is accepted by the wider rural family is more likely to be successful in terms of its influence.
Such networks established under the umbrella of IRL include:
• Community Wetlands Forum
• National Meals on Wheels Network
IRL are committed to working with Government and state agencies to deliver programmes that benefit and improve the lives of people and communities in rural areas. National Projects they deliver include:
• National Rural Network
• Getting Citizens Online
• IT Skills for Farmers
IRL have previously being and currently involved in EU funded projects. These include:
• Erasmus+ Funded Projects
o MICRO – Lead Partner
o DELSA – Lead Partner
o Sustain It
• Horizon 2020 Funded Projects