Monthly Members' Bulletin of the National Rural Network - June 2017
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June 2017

Welcome to the latest issue of the National Rural Network's monthly newsletter for 2017. This is the newsletter for members of the NRN. The goal of the National Rural Network (NRN) 2016-2020 is to inform the broader public and potential beneficiaries about rural development policy and funding opportunities. For more see
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Burren LIFE Project Scoops European Nature and Biodiversity Award



BURRENLIFE was the second winning project in the Nature & Biodiversity category. The project was represented at the Green Awards by Mr Brendan Dunford and Ms Sharon Parr.At the special Green Awards Ceremony in Brussels on 30 May 2017 honouring outstanding LIFE projects from the programme’s 25-year history, the Burren Life Project was awarded in the Nature and Biodiversity category for its exceptional impact on the local environment. 

Fifteen projects were selected as finalists for the hotly contested awards by an expert jury, who looked at their long-term sustainability, communication potential and broader impact on a national, European or global level. Projects were assessed for innovation, transferability, environmental benefits and improvement of conservation status.

The photo shows Brendan Dunford and Sharon Parr receiving the award on behalf of Burren LIFE.

For a full list of award winners, please visit: or to view pictures from the ceremony click 

You can read the full article here. An extended interview with Burren LIFE Project Manager Brendan Dunford will be featured in the NRN's next quarterly newsletter. 

Source: NRN

European Innovation Partnerships for Agriculture Project Groups



Speakers at the EIP AGRI Project Groups Workshop in AthloneFollowing the first Open Call for Proposals under EIP-AGRI, the 23 successful groups selected to move to Round 2 of the process were invited to attend a workshop in Athlone on 31st May, organised by the National Rural Network.  Fintan O’Brien of the Department of Agricultural Food and Marine (DAFM) welcomed the participants, outlined the structure of the workshop and explained the next steps of the process.  Angela Corcoran from DAFM gave an overview of EIPs, the structure of how a detailed Project Plan must be constructed and the assessment process to choose projects to move to the final stage.  Mr Fergus O’Connell, of ETP The Structured Project Management Company, gave a comprehensive explanation of project plan development and Ronan O’Flaherty, DAFM, facilitated discussion groups and a question and answer session.   

The Workshop was very informative and gave the people in the successful groups the tools to proceed with the preparation of the Project Plan.  It also gave them the opportunity to meet each other and make connections for future networking.  An information pack was sent to all groups following the Workshop.  The groups must now put together a comprehensive project proposal to be submitted to DAFM by the 29th September 2017.  

Full details of Minister Creed’s announcement of the selection of successful first round projects can be accessed on the NRN website at the following link:

Source: DAFM

Grey Partridge Conservation Project Expands Through GLAS

Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme


Male grey partridge among flowersKieran Buckley (National Parks and Wildlife Service, NPWS) and Michael Martyn (Agricultural Consultant) recently spoke to the NRN about the Boora Grey Partridge Conservation Project, which has served as a demonstration for the GLAS  grey partridge measure. This agri-environmental measure encourages and rewards farmers to create habitats for the grey partridge that are designed to slot into both arable and grassland farms.  

The GLAS Grey Partridge measure has been rolled out over three counties: West Offaly, North Dublin and East Donegal. At these locations, Ireland's wild grey partridge has been translocated as seed stock from the NPWS Grey Partridge Conservation Project at Boora Co Offaly. This is part of the National Conservation Strategy to save Ireland's wild grey partridge and ultimately to return the species to their farmland home. 

The Boora Grey Partridge Conservation Project has served as a model for the Grey Partridge action in GLAS. This requires farmers who choose this action to establish a 12-metre margin consisting of a grass nesting strip and Grey Partridge brood rearing strip, along the full length of an existing field or parcel boundary. This project demonstrates how farming practices can work with bird conservation strategies to protect farmland birds.

For more information see:

Source: NRN - with Kieran Buckley (NPWS) and Michael Martyn (Agricultural Consultant)


Minister Humphreys Hosts LEADER Forum



Minister Heather Humphreys Department of Arts Heritage Regional Rural and Gaeltacht AffairsOn 17th May last, the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys hosted a forum with participants from all of the Local Action Groups and the Local Development Companies delivering LEADER to explore the issues of concern to them and to identify potential solutions aimed at streamlining the current administrative and application procedures.  

Following on from the forum, the Minister has announced 31 actions which will be implemented to improve the delivery of the LEADER Programme. 

Read more here.  

Source: DAHRRGA 

Proposed LEADER Newsletter: Request for Content



LEADER logoAt the recent Advisory Sub-Committee meeting, the National Rural Network outlined their intention to develop a LEADER specific E-Newsletter in autumn 2017. The NRN has now commenced preparation for this and consequently we are requesting input from Local Action Groups and Implementing Partners. 

The newsletter will be distributed online and will comprise of 8 pages of content. Topics and elements which we envisage will be included are: case studies, blogs/opinion pieces, a photo library, and LEADER cooperation. If you have, or can suggest content that you feel is suitable for inclusion please forward to before the 31st July 2017.  

Source: NRN

Upcoming Targeted Funding Calls under the LEADER Programme 2014-2020


Area Funder Description Closing Date Contact
Longford Longford Community Resources CLG Rural Youth- Support the development of positive programmes for young people within County Longford 3rd July 2017 043-3345555 or at
Longford Longford Community Resources CLG Rural Youth- Delivery of a series of measures that encourage young people to engage in career planning. 3rd July 2017 043-3345555 or at

Source: NRN


Revitalising Rural Areas through Business Innovation: ENRD Seminar

EU Networking 


Ludgate Hub in SkibbereenOver 150 representations from EU organisations including LEADER groups, National Rural Networks, advisory services and farming agencies attended the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) ‘Revitalising Rural Areas through Business Innovation’ seminar on the 30th of March 2017 in Brussels.  

The seminar focused on innovative solutions to positively reviving and stimulating the ever evolving European rural areas through business start-up initiatives. The seminar outlined the importance of sharing inspiring examples of business innovation taking place in rural communities – one of these examples is the Ludgate Digital Hub, in the rural town of Skibbereen in Country Cork. The seminar additionally outlined avenues in which rural communities combined with relevant EU organisations can support rural innovation including; social innovation, business accelerator and using the RDPs and LEADER programmes to implement smart business support packages. 

For additional information and to read the highlights of the seminar in full – please click the following link

Source: NRN

NRNs Going Local! Networking Seminar

EU Networking 

Feedback session at ENRD workshop on regional and local NRN networkingNRNs from across Europe met in Namur in Belgium on 31 May for NRNs Going Local!, a workshop on the different approaches taken to local and regional networking. More than 50 NRN representatives attended the workshop, which was jointly organised by the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) and the Walloon Rural Network.

Ireland’s NRN was represented by James Claffey and Johnny Sheehan, who shared learning about the recent Expand Your Horizons rural information and networking seminars that were jointly organised in collaboration with Teagasc. For more information on this ENRD event, see

Source: NRN

Rural Connections: The European Rural Development Magazine

EU Networking 


Cover of Rural Connections MagazineThe spring 2017 edition of the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) magazine, ‘Rural Connections’, is now available to read and download online. This season’s publication focuses on the subject of social inclusion and features articles on generational renewal, community local led development (CLLD) and integrated rural policy.  

The magazine additionally incorporates an article by Dr Maura Farrell (NUI Galway & NRN) and Marta Rosa (Copa) on supporting the contribution of women in rural areas. Furthermore, the edition includes an interview with South East Cork Development Area (SECAD) employees - Ryan Howard (CEO) and Nuala O’Connell (Development Officer) on the subject of rural youth initiatives.

For more information and to download the spring edition of Rural Connections, click the following link:

Source: NRN


Teagasc Moorepark Open Day Irish Dairying Resilient Technologies. 4th July, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork
The theme of this year’s event is ‘Resilient Technologies’ - those technologies that will allow dairy farmers, and indeed the entire dairy industry, to flourish in both the good times and the more challenging times. For more information, visit

16th Summer Academy, 'Resilient Communities: Pillars of Sustainable Rural Development.' 3rd-8th September 2017, Cork.
The academy will explore how rural communities can become more resilient and face 21st Century challenges to assure their sustainable development. Application deadline: 15th July. For more, visit
Members of the NRN Team
The National Rural Network (NRN) Consortium Coordination Group: (front row) Seamus Boland, Maria Pettit, James Claffey; (second row) Tony Ward, Deirdre Garvey, Dr. Therese Conway, Freda Salley; (third row) Johnny Sheehan, Gert Ackermann, Maria O'Gorman, Dr. Maura Farrell; (back row) Philip Farrelly, Billy Murphy. For more information, visit

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