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IRL announce their Annual Conference

Irish Rural Link- – the national network representing the interest of rural communities is pleased to announce they will be holding their annual conference and annual general meeting on Friday the 9th of May in Moate Golf Club, County Westmeath.
The focus of this year’s conference will be Rural Learning- Access to education & training. The sustainability of rural communities has never been more under threat than it is now. Since the crisis began, communities have seen the widespread closure of services, schools, Garda stations, and the consequence loss of jobs. It is now recognised that rural areas will need to hold on to its youth and in doing that it will need to provide jobs. One of the key cornerstones to job creation will be the quality and availability of opportunities to re-skill, re-train and acquire the capacity to develop businesses that will create jobs.
The speakers for the conference are Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Prof. Ciarán Ó Catháin – President Athlone IT, Alice McDonnell- C&M Training, Dr. Maura Farrell- NUIG, Dr. Bryan Fields- SOLAS and members from Czech rural schools.
The 2014 Irish Rural Link annual Conference will seek to explore ways and means to achieve such aims. The conference will hear of the latest thinking of the education providers and will also hear from people who have gained as a result of further training.
During the economic crisis, unemployment increased by 192 % while unemployment rose by 114% in urban areas, this identifies a clear demand for retraining of skills into sectors with a sustainable future in order to maintain population levels among the youth. An issue in rural areas is access to education; some rural residents simply just don’t have the means to access education and training. A large proportion of education courses take place in large towns and cities, due to a lack of public transport these course cannot be accessed.

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About Irish Rural Link:

Irish Rural Link represents the interests of locally based rural groups in disadvantaged and marginalised rural areas by highlighting problems, advocating appropriate policies, sharing experiences and examples of good practice. It has a membership of nearly 500 rural community groups dedicated to sustainable rural development and represents rural communities at a national and international level.