Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan TD has today announced the establishment of a commission to carry out a public consultation on the future economic potential of rural Ireland and how best to channel funding and resources between 2013 and 2025.
The commission is to be led by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government with support from Teagasc, the agriculture and food development authority in Ireland and the Western Development Commission, the body established to promote both social and economic development in the Western Region.
Membership of the commission will comprise of members relevant government departments and state bodies and include expertise from a range of sectors including the local authority local development, agricultural and third level education sectors.
The commission is to commence work this month and will visit communities throughout rural Ireland over the next eight months in order to gather information from the people on the ground on what initiatives should be carried out to stimulate economic growth and create jobs in their areas, according to the Minister.
The commission will also prepare a report by the end of 2013 that will inform the development of future strategies to support the medium term economic development of rural areas for the period to 2025.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD added that this consultation “will not only facilitate the collection and analysis of the best information available to support the sustainable development of rural Ireland going forward” but “it will also mark the 25thAnniversary of the EU strategy for the development of rural areas in “the Future of Rural Society”, as part of the forthcoming Irish Presidency of the European Union in 2013.”