Written answers

Wednesday, 17 May 2023

Department of Rural and Community Development

Departmental Schemes

Photo of Claire KerraneClaire Kerrane (Roscommon-Galway, Sinn Fein)
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264. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development if she can confirm that Leader programming for the islands will be delivered entirely through Irish, including local development strategies and documentation relating to the programme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23391/23]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The LEADER Programme is a key intervention of Our Rural Future, the Government’s Policy for rural development launched in 2021, which aims to deliver a range of actions to rural communities over the lifetime of the policy. The programme is based on a community-led approach to rural development and plays an important role in supporting communities and enterprises in progressing job creation, social inclusion and environmental projects at local level.

I am aware that island communities do have particular needs and priorities and the LEADER programme can play a key role here within the context of the emerging National Islands Policy. In recognition of this, for any Group selected to deliver LEADER in an area that includes island communities, they will be required to include in their strategy, island specific actions with a ring-fenced budget which have been devised in consultation with the island communities. In addition, the Local Action Group selected will also be required to include a dedicated representation from the island community as part of its decision-making body.

The Guidelines that issued to applicant Groups on developing their LEADER local development strategy does not require that any local development strategy must be submitted in Irish. However, it is open to any applicant Group to submit their local development strategy in Irish if they so wish.

In line with the current operating rules for the LEADER programme the LAG must publicise that its services are available through Irish if they are in Gaeltacht or bordering regions.

The LAGs must ensure that application forms are available in both Irish and English. These provisions will also be a requirement of the 2023-2027 programme.


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