The Department of Rural and Community Development is currently developing a new, whole-of-Government rural development policy for Ireland. This will follow on from the Action Plan for Rural Development which was published in January 2017 and reaches the end of its three-year time frame in 2019.

In order to develop the new policy, the Department has held a series of consultation events over the last number of months to obtain stakeholder views on the challenges and opportunities facing rural Ireland. The Department of Rural and Community Development has launched an online consultation survey, inviting feedback on the challenges and opportunities facing people living and working in for rural Ireland.

The new rural policy will have a 5-year time frame, and will focus on strengthening our rural communities and economies. It will take account of emerging economic, societal and international developments. These include changing demographics within rural communities, the increasing focus on climate change adaptation, diversification in the agri-food sector, the next version of the CAP and LEADER programmes, new ways of working and the changing nature of jobs, and Brexit. The key themes that have emerged to date are reflected in the survey questions.

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IRL would encourage members to take part in the survey and to share with your members.

We will also be making a written submission to this new policy document and are happy for you to send your views to inform this submission. You can send these to

On Wednesday, Minister Ring launched the Royal Irish Academy Rural Conversations report.

You can listen to the launch, hear the main findings, and download a copy of the report on the RIA website as well as recordings of the individual country-wide events RIA website.