What’s it all about . . .
Simply . . . the Irish leader programme seen as a model of best practice in Europe and one that has successfully supported rural communities here in Ireland is under threat!
LEADER Rally today in Dublin at Dáil Eireann ‘Keep LEADER in the Community: NO to Alignment’
Local Development Companies and community organisations from across the country are protesting in support of the retention of the bottom-up approach of LEADER by local development companies.
The rally will take place on at 1.30pm at Dáil Eireann and will be addressed by Marian Harkin MEP, Liadh Ní Riada MEP and others.
Development Companies (predecessor LEADER Group) have successfully delivered the LEADER Programme for over 20 years. Now, however, the government is proposing to change this system, which is regarded by the EU as being a model of best practice throughout Europe, and one that has successfully supported the economic, social and community development of rural communities throughout Ireland in recent decades. As the main structure of the Companies dependent on the LEADER Programme, if LEADER funding is taken away then other vital Programmes such as Tús, the Rural Social Scheme, Rural Recreation Officer, (walks), and many more are also threatened by these proposed changes. The proposed policy change being driven forward by Minister Hogan & the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government is called alignment, and aims to transfer the delivery of the LEADER Programme to a newly established committee within each Local Authority Area. Local Development Companies are now entering a critical phase in determining the outcome of this alignment process; the protection of the LEADER model in Ireland, which is the most successful LEADER delivery structure in the EU, is in danger of being lost, and with it, the years of experience, skills, expertise & local relationships built up over the years by these valuable companies.
Now, more than ever, they need OUR SUPPORT, so that communities – and not Local Authority Committees – can continue to decide how LEADER funding should be administered.