Minister Ring brings #RuralOpportunity to Clare

10 April 2019

  • Event to highlight Government supports available to communities in rural Ireland
  • Information shared on how communities can access funding

Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, was today (Wednesday 10 April) joined by Government colleagues and members of rural communities from Clare, Limerick and Galway at a #Rural Opportunity event in Saint Patrick’s Hall, Corofin, Co. Clare.

The event is focused on raising awareness of the wide variety of Government supports available to rural areas throughout the region. The event also provides advice on how to access Project Ireland 2040 funding for rural, or community, projects.

Minister Ring was joined at the event by Andrew Doyle TD, Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture and Pat Breen TD, Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection.

Groups from rural areas in Clare, Limerick and Galway, that have an interest in accessing Government supports, were invited to attend.

The audience heard from a number of individuals from the region about how funding has enabled them to deliver their successful projects:

  • Breda McNamara is Chairperson of the Development Committee for Cnoc na Gaoithe Cultural Centre in Tulla, Co. Clare. She told attendees how funding through the Town and Village Renewal Scheme helped refurbish a thriving centre that teaches traditional Irish language, music, song and dance.
  • Teresa Roche, of Kylemore Farmhouse Cheese spoke about how the funding she received through the LEADER programme and the Local Enterprise Office helped her to establish a rural enterprise near Abbey, Co. Galway.
  • Richard Walsh, Chairperson of the Murroe Town Park Project in Limerick said that LEADER and Rural Regeneration funding is helping to create community driven project. This involves the construction of a multi-purpose building for the community of Murroe-Boher and its surrounds.

Speaking at the event, Minister Ring said that the Government wants to see rural funding targeted into a number of key areas:

“This Government aims to support rural projects that improve the quality of life for citizens, create jobs and employment, encourage tourism, promote the Irish language and our culture. These are the areas that rural Ireland wants us to focus on and that is what we are doing. Across Government Departments and through Project Ireland 2040 there are a multiple of supports and funds available to those that have a good idea and want to access funding to make a real difference. I hope that people across the country will take inspiration from the case studies presented here today and seek funding for their projects. I always believe that local people are best placed to know what supports are needed and where the best rural opportunities exist.”

Minister Breen said:

“The economic well-being of the country is dependent on a strong and thriving rural Ireland, with development being achieved in a balanced way across the country to provide opportunities for all. The Clare and mid-west region is making progress in relation to development and I think events like this one today show that real and meaningful support available from Government is making a difference. These funds provide rural communities with the opportunities to achieve their vision and realise their full potential.”

Minister Doyle said:

“It is vital that we put in place the necessary infrastructure for rural communities to prosper.  Project Ireland 2040 provides the basis by which we can achieve this goal. It has put in place the necessary supports, such as the Rural and Urban Regeneration and Development Funds, to allow us to address the needs of our cities, towns and villages and the communities within them.”

A further “Rural Opportunity” event is planned for the Bluestack Centre, Letterbarra, Drimarone, Co Donegal on Friday 12 April.

To find out more visit



Daniel Rowan

Special Adviser to Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development

087 6177320

The Department of Rural and Community Development Press Office

076-1006843 / 087-1734633

Note for Editors:

Rural Opportunity themes

In particular, the themes which the campaign will cover include:

  • job creation/enterprise in rural communities, enabling people to work in rural Ireland;
  • improving the quality of life for those living and working in rural communities – reducing social isolation and improving social cohesion;
  • bringing more visitors into rural communities;
  • harnessing a vibrant culture within rural communities and improving the public realm; and
  • assisting a Gaeltacht community facing challenges which other rural communities face and thereby promoting the Irish language.

 Background on case studies of projects featured at the Corofin Rural Opportunity event

These events will hear from representatives of local rural communities who have successfully availed of supports and delivered a programme or project in their locality. These projects have made a positive impact in terms of community development and resilience, enterprise or job development, tourism development, etc.

Teresa Roche t/a Kylemore Farmhouse Cheese

Teresa Roche has established her value added dairy business after extensive travel and working overseas as a registered intensive care nurse.  This is a rural enterprise start-up in Abbey, Co. Galway. This is an added value farm business. Kylemore Farmhouse Cheese completed several Food Tours to its Cheese production facility in 2018.

Gastro tourism creates a new level of enterprise ecosystem between food producers, tourism providers and knowledge partners.  It makes a regional economic contribution by creating linkages to complementary activity and visitor offerings e.g. accommodation, activity providers. Teresa Roche t/a Kylemore Farmhouse Cheese also won the title ‘Best New Business 2018’ from Galway LEO.

She also took part in ‘Food on the Edge 2018’ and attended the Galway TOURROIR which is Global forum on food tourism and culture at NUIG in 2018.

Cnoc na Gaoithe

Refurbishment of Cnoc na Gaoithe cultural centre in Clare. The centre teaches traditional Irish music, song, dance and Irish language. It also runs classes in computer skills, French language, yoga and meditation.  Due to that refurbishment the centre can now also provide accommodation and host residential workshops. Formerly a Mercy Convent the building in Tulla, Co. Clare, now operates as a cultural centre known as Cnoc na Gaoithe (Windswept Hill), run by the renowned Comhaltas organisation.

The centre opened its doors in 2012 and has thrived ever since, teaching traditional Irish music, song, dance and Irish language, along with classes teaching computer skills, French language, yoga and meditation. Top class musicians, singers and dancers have emerged from the centre since its opening, with many All-Ireland titles to their name. Cnoc na Gaoithe has taken performing groups to Europe, America and China. The centre has also hosted groups from Washington D.C., Shetland Islands, and Norway.

Murroe Community Hub

This is a community driven project which involves the construction of a two storey, 2,467 sq.m multi-purpose building for the community of Murroe-Boher and its surrounds.  The building will include a large hall for sports and community events, a scout den, meeting rooms, an office, changing facilities, showers and bathrooms, and space for a community café. This is the third phase of an ambitious larger Murroe Town Park Project to develop public space for sporting and recreational activities on a 6 acre site. The multi-purpose building builds on the previous construction of an all-weather pitch, multi-access walkway, and will complement the development of a skate park expected to begin construction in early 2019. In addition, it will act as a ‘smart campus’ offering free fibre broadband access for the community and hot desk facilities for local business people. The aim of the project is to put in place social infrastructure which meets the needs of the community. It is expected to boost economic and social activity in Murroe by drawing footfall into the village, creating employment opportunities, and enhancing the attractiveness of the area as a place to live.

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