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Pat Spillane addresses Clare Rural Development Forum

Date issued: 02/03/17

Former All Ireland winning footballer with Kerry and Government Ambassador for the National Action Plan for Rural Development, Pat Spillane made a presentation to members of the recently established Clare Rural Development Forum at the Buttermarket Building, Waterpark, Ennis, today (Wednesday, 1 March 2017).

Comprising members drawn from local community, business, tourism and farming groups, as well as Clare County Council, Elected Members, third level institutes, and State and Development Agencies, the Forum is currently developing a Rural Development Strategy for County Clare which is expected to be launched in early May.

Addressing Forum members today, Mr. Spillane referred to his passion for rural Ireland, his Chairmanship of the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas (CEDRA) and the importance of interagency collaboration. He also acknowledged Clare County Council's role in convening the Rural Development Forum and establishing of the country’s first Local Authority Rural Development Directorate.

Today’s Forum meeting was also addressed by Ciaran Lynch, Development Manager for LIT, who has a strong background in sustainable rural development and management. He worked as a local authority planner for over 20 years and was The Planning and Development Officer for County Clare for 13 years. He was formerly the Head of the Sustainable Rural Development Department at Tipperary Institute and is currently the Development Manager of LIT.

Meanwhile, members of the public and interested parties are being invited to have their say on the proposed the Clare Rural Development Strategy by making written submissions and observations to the Rural Development Directorate, Clare County Council, Áras Contae an Chláir, New Road, Ennis, Co. Clare on or before 4.00pm on Friday, 31st March 2017.

In order to facilitate stakeholder engagement, a public information briefing will take place on Friday, 24th March 2017 at Ennis Civic Room, Buttermarket, Ennis commencing at 2.30 p.m. Persons interested in attending are asked to contact Claire on 065 6846495 or

Cllr. Bill Chambers, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, said the strength and depth of the objectives set out in the proposed Rural Development Strategy will be guided by the input of local communities.

“Clare is a rural county and it is important therefore, that there is buy-in to this strategy from communities across the county. I would encourage everyone with an interest in the future economic and social development of Clare to contribute to the formation of the Strategy,” he added.

Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, commented, “The current policy arena is emerging with a very clear direction that the development and revitalisation of rural Ireland is a key priority. A clear strategy is required to respond to the needs of rural areas in Clare. Addressing this challenge points towards the requirement for a collective response.”

“The Forum meetings and the public consultation process are key to shaping a vision for the Clare Rural Development Strategy. It is through such consultation that we hope to identify key influences, draft objectives and strategic which will ultimately complement the Government’s ‘National Action Plan for Rural Ireland’ and the Rural Development Directorate Plan,” added Mr. Dowling.

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Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 02/03/17