The first in a series of national events to highlight the funding supports available to rural communities was hosted in Thomastown, County Kilkenny, last Friday.
Four government ministers were joined by groups who have benefited from funding to talk about their projects and the supports they had availed of, as well as those interested in accessing funding.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, was joined by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton, Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan, and Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform John Paul Phelan.
Minister Ring told the gathering that as Minister for Rural and Community Development he had witnessed the vision and commitment in communities that can get things done, they just need the right opportunities.
The Thomastown event was billed as a Rural Opportunity Roadshow to highlight those opportunities, the minister said, and also to hear from people who made their visions a reality.
“There are no limits to what people in rural communities can achieve if they work together,” Minister Ring said, and that deserved an appropriate response from government.
Supports are available for enterprise and job creation, tourism, culture, community and the Irish language.
Representatives of four projects spoke to an audience from across the South East about the service and grants they availed of and offered their advice - Irial Mac Murchú from Nemeton TV, based in the Waterford Gaeltacht in Ring; Agnes Aylward from the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Garden in Tramore; Vinny Mernin of the Villierstown Education and Culture Project; and Clontubrid National School principal Pat Robinson.