'Our Rural Future' will help develop and revitalise communities all across Longford
The Government has published its 'Rural Development Policy 2021-2025 - Our Rural Future'.
Welcoming the strategy, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue said it would "help develop and revitalise communities".
He added: "It is a commitment by the Government to improve the lives of people living in rural communities. This was one of my key goals in entering politics and I Will continue pressing the need to protect rural Ireland at the Cabinet table.
"The policy reflects the unprecedented change in living and working patterns during COVID-19 and the significant opportunities this presents for rural communities – from remote working and revitalising our town centres to job creation, developing a green economy and enhancing our outdoor amenities."
The five year strategy was launched in Croke Park by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin, An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, and Minister for Transport and the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan.
Our Rural Future sets out a blueprint for the development of rural Ireland over the next five years.
It is supported by 150 commitments across Government, which will address the challenges facing communities and deliver new opportunities for people living in rural areas.
The policy will help rural Ireland to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, enable long-term development of rural areas, and create more resilient rural economies and communities for the future.
Commenting on the launch, Minister McConalogue said: “This whole of-Government approach to rural development highlights the importance of our rural and coastal communities. Balanced economic development throughout the country, including the development of our rural and coastal communities, is necessary for the overall economic and social wellbeing of Ireland as a whole.
"One of the key policy commitments identified is the preparation of a new Agri-Food Strategy to 2030, which is also a commitment under the Programme for Government, and will be published in the Summer.
"It will set a high ambition for the sector in the years ahead, focussing on sustainability in its three forms: environmental, economic and social. This will ensure that the agri-food sector, encompassing agriculture, seafood and forestry, will continue to be the foundation for rural and coastal development.
"l look forward to working with Minister Heather Humphreys, her Department and the rest of Government in realising the vision outlined in the Rural Development Policy, and to progressing the specific actions relating to the agri-food sector," concluded Minister McConalogue