“LEADER Creates 1,246 Jobs for Rural Ireland and Supports 3,320 Enterprises”

Figures included in the upcoming publication “Follow the LEADER: Paths to Success – LEADER bringing out the best in rural Ireland” reveal that €87 million has been invested into the rural economy through the LEADER element of the Rural Development Programme since 2009. This funding has been used to support over 3,320 local enterprises and has delivered impressive results with 1,246 full-time jobs created in rural communities that have been badly affected by the current recession.


The “Follow the LEADER” publication which will be circulated as a free supplement with the Farmers Journal on 13th September provides over 40 examples of some of these successful Irish enterprises and community projects that have been supported by Local Development Companies delivering LEADER throughout Ireland. The funding has supported a range of projects such as farm diversification, rural micro-enterprise, tourism development, provision of basic services for communities, village renewal, heritage conservation and training.


Speaking at the publication launch last Thursday, Minister Hogan noted that “Strong rural economies are critical for economic recovery and initiatives emerging from the community such as those profiled in this document often address a variety of issues that have both a direct and indirect effect on job creation in both rural and urban communities alike.”

Also speaking at the publication launch, Brian Carty, Director of the Irish Local Development Network which commissioned the publication, stated that “This publication has been a labour of love for us – we wanted to show that really positive things are happening in rural Ireland with the help of Local Development Companies. Our member companies are working away on the ground to support entrepreneurs to set up successful local businesses or to help communities deliver projects to improve their local area. We hope that members of the public with a good idea of their own will be inspired to contact their own Local Development Company after reading this publication”


Mairead Lavery, editor of Irish Country Living within the Irish Farmers Journal added, “We’re delighted to have been involved with LEADER in putting this publication together, LEADER makes a real and significant difference in rural Ireland and will continue to do so.”


Marian Vickers, Vice Chairperson of ILDN concluded, “If this document shows one thing – it is that when rural communities are listened to and given the correct supports – they have the innovative ideas and hard work ethic to create jobs and develop their communities”.




Notes to Editor:

  • For further information contact Sinéad Murphy, Policy & Communications Officer, ILDN on 087-93795732 or email communications@ildn.ie
  • The Irish Local Development Network (ILDN) is the representative body of Local Development Companies in Ireland. Its membership currently stands at 51 with all members delivering the Local Community Development Programme and in rural contexts, the LEADER Rural Development Programme.
  • LEADER is an EU funded programme to support activities to improve the quality of life in rural areas and to diversify the rural economy. The programme has been delivered in a number of different stages since 1991 and in its current incarnation as part of the Rural Development Programme it is delivered by a network of 35 Local Development Companies throughout Ireland.
  • The publication will be distributed with the Irish Farmers Journal which has a circulation of 71,616 (Jan-June 2012) and a readership of 239,000.

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