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Irish Rural Link (IRL) founded in 1991, is a national network of organisations and individuals advocating for sustainable rural development in Ireland and Europe. IRL, a non- profit organisation has grown significantly since its inception and now directly represents over 600 community groups and individuals with a combined membership of 25,000.

The network provides a structure through which rural groups and individuals, representing disadvantaged rural communities, can articulate their common needs and priorities share their experiences and present their case to policy makers at local, national and European level.

Irish Rural Link is the only group represented at the national social partnership solely representing rural communities’ interests.

‘Our vision is of vibrant, inclusive and sustainable rural communities that contribute to an equitable and just society’

IRL Aims:

•To articulate and facilitate the voices of rural communities in local, regional, national and European policy arenas, especially those experiencing poverty, social exclusion and the challenge of change in the 21st century.

•To promote local and community development in rural communities in order to strengthen and build the capacity of rural community groups to act as primary movers through practical assistance and advice.

•To research, critique and disseminate policies relating to rural communities including issues such as sustainability, social exclusion, equality and poverty.

•To facilitate cross-border networking between rural communities

‘Our mission is to influence and inform local, regional, national and European development policies and programmes in favor of rural communities especially those who are marginalised as a result of poverty and social exclusion in rural areas’.
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