NUI Galway Appointed Lead Researchers Of New National Rural Network Consortium

Dr Maura Farrell, Director MA in Rural Sustainability, School of Geography and Archaeology, NUI Galway.
Mar 04 2016 Posted: 14:49 GMT

New consortium appointed to run Ireland’s National Rural Network with NUI Galway leading the research to achieve better outcomes under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020

The School of Geography and Archaeology at NUI Galway, led by Dr Maura Farrell has been appointed as lead researchers of a new consortium to run Ireland's National Rural Network (NRN), as announced by the Department of Agriculture. The new consortium will be responsible for facilitating all stakeholders and interested groups in achieving better outcomes across all the measures under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (RDP).

The National Rural Network, which is being led by Irish Rural Link, is part of the implementation architecture for Rural Development Programmes across the European Union. Its primary aims are to increase stakeholder involvement, improve quality of implementation, inform the public and potential beneficiaries, and foster innovation in agriculture, food production, forestry and rural areas.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr Maura Farrell, Director MA in Rural Sustainability in the School of Geography and Archaeology and Project Leader for NUI Galway, said: “The National Rural Network consortium will endeavour to create strong linkages between the administrative structures and organisations delivering Rural Development in Ireland. Through a resilient and systematic communications structure, the Network aims to increase stakeholder participation, expand the quality of rural development programmes and advance and disseminate innovative practices that can positively influence individuals and societies throughout rural Ireland. Such practices will be drawn from projects funded under the LEADER programme, and also from best practices in agriculture, biodiversity and small town development and rejuvenation.”

The School of Geography and Archaeology at NUI Galway, through its Rural Research Cluster and the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, is a leading body with the strongest rural development credentials. Its alumni in agriculture and rural development occupy prestigious positions throughout the sector. It has unrivalled credentials in the fields of rural research and innovation. The NUI Galway team undertake research projects, co-ordinate innovation initiatives, and undertake monitoring and evaluation initiatives.

Seamus Boland, Chief Executive of Irish Rural Link added, “The ambition of the new consortium is to maximise the impact of the Rural Development Programme by bringing it into the lives of as many people and communities as possible. We aim to transform levels of engagement with the programme, and by building participation in its implementation, and a sense of ownership of the programme amongst stakeholders, to maximise the positive impact in the lives of people and communities across rural Ireland.”

Additional members of the consortium include The Wheel and Philip Farrelly & Co.

For more information about the programme visit: or email


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