The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Deputy Coveney and I established the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas (CEDRA) in September 2012 and tasked it to investigate the opportunities and challenges facing rural populations in the current economic climate. Since then the Commission has been working towards the publication of a report that will inform policies and strategies to support the economic development of rural Ireland into the future.
The Commission led by its Chair, Mr Pat Spillane, has been engaging in an extensive schedule of meetings with stakeholder groups and the public over the last number of months looking at the multitude of issues that affect life in rural Ireland at present.
The initial findings were presented at the CEDRA EU Conference on 10 June 2013 in NUI Maynooth and the presentation is available at the following link:
I look forward to receiving the final report, when it is complete in October, at which point both I and my colleagues in Government will give due consideration to its findings and make decisions regarding the appropriate actions to be taken.