Rural Development Programme (LEADER) 2014 - 2020

The Rural Development Programme aims to improve the quality of life for communities and community members living and working in rural areas, and to encourage diversification of the rural economy.

The LEADER Programme outlines three Themes that have been identified, through consultation and research, as representing the overarching needs of rural Ireland for this programme period. These themes respond to key challenges facing rural Ireland, with regard to: economic recovery, employment creation, tackling social exclusion, reducing the impact of global warming and resource depletion.

Ballyhoura Development is the implementing partner of Limerick Local and Community Development Committee (LCDC) in the Ballyhoura Development area, and is responsible for delivering the majority of project and animation activities and actions, including managing calls for proposals and processing applications for LEADER funding, in line with the programme calls.

The Operational Rules of the Rural Development LEADER Programme set out the rules of the Programme, please note these are subject to change.

For further information or to discuss your project idea, please contact one of our offices, or email

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Social Inclusion & Community Activation Programme

Ballyhoura Development implements the SICAP Programme across the Ballyhoura area, by providing supports and services to people who are unemployed, children and families from areas classified as disadvantaged, people living in communities which are classified as disadvantaged and local community groups. The programme is delivered through a community development approach, with a strong focus on collaboration and partnership, equality and anti-discrimination.

Supports and services are delivered across two Programme Goals:

Goal 1: Support communities and target groups to engage with relevant stakeholders in identifying and addressing social exclusion and equality issues, developing the capacity of Local Community Groups, and creating more sustainable communities.

Goal 2: To support disadvantaged individuals to improve the quality of their lives through the provision of lifelong learning and labour market supports.

Please see below for further information on the SICAP Programme.

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Getting Citizens Online Programme

Getting Citizens Online is a digital skills programme that aims to provide people who have never used the internet with the confidence, motivation, and skills to use the internet confidently and competently.

Ballyhoura Development has been contracted by the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment to deliver this programme to non-liners, in their local communities, throughout the region.

The Programme focuses on practical aspects of online skills, such as:

  • Internet safety & security
  • Setting up and using email
  • How to search for something on the internet
  • Conducting everyday transactions such as online banking, herd registration, buying flights, etc
  • Online voice and video calls
  • Use of ‘Apps’
  • Social Media
  • Online shopping

Courses are delivered to groups of 7 to 10 people in local community facilities, and can be delivered in any community, if there is a group which would like to do the training. Training takes place over 5 weeks, through a 2 hour session each week, with one-to-one follow-ups provided to individuals if required.

If you would like us to deliver a course in your community, to a particular group of people you work or socialise with, or to a local community group, please contact Carrie O’Donoghue at on phone 063 20555

Details of upcoming courses are posted on our Facebook and twitter accounts.

Further information on this and other initiatives implemented by the Department are available here

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Job Club

Ballyhoura Development operates a Job Club to provide services to assist jobseekers to find and retain employment. Services offered include individualised supports, a ‘drop in’ service and formal workshops. The Ballyhoura Job Club is based in the Kilmallock Outreach office, and also outreaches one-to-one clinics and formal training in communities throughout the area, based on need.

The service enables jobseekers to take positive steps towards realising their career plans to support them to explore and access employment opportunities, by means of practical and participative supports from the Job Club Leader and Job Club Administrator. The Job Club also publishes a weekly Bulletin of job vacancies in the region.

The Job Club also plays a key role in liaising with local employers concerning potential job vacancies, and working with jobseekers and employers to match jobseekers with job opportunities that may suit their skills.

For further information, to arrange a meeting with the Job Club Leader, or to find out about upcoming training courses and sessions, please contact Joe Biggane at or Anisa Moynihan at, or telephone 063 20555.


The Job Club is supported by the Department of Social Protection and further details are available here.

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Tús Work Placement Programme

Tús is a Community Work Placement Initiative which provides short term work placement opportunities for unemployed people. Ballyhoura Development employs 160 staff through Tús, who work with, and for communities, throughout the Ballyhoura area, on a wide range of short-term projects. Examples of work placement opportunities include:

  • Community Councils;
  • Community Childcare facilities;
  • Tidy Towns Groups;
  • Development and maintenance of recreation facilities, walking trails, etc.;
  • Family Resource Centres;
  • Sporting facilities such as GAA Clubs, Soccer clubs, etc.;
  • Community IT and IT training initiatives

By matching the skills, training needs and career aspirations of Tús staff with community project needs, we aim to ensure that staff participating in the Initiative benefit by improving their skills and knowledge, while communities benefit by having additional resources available for their project.

If you have been unemployed for more than 12 months and would like to participate in the Scheme, please contact your local Social Welfare office and explain that you would like to apply for a Tus position on a ‘self-referral’ basis. If approved, The Department of Social Protection will forward your details to us and we will be in contact with you to arrange a meeting.

If your community or community project would like to apply for resource support through Tus, please contact us and we will send you a ‘Community Work Placement Application’ to complete, outlining your needs. Once returned, we will be in contact with you to discuss further.

Further information on the Scheme is available here

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Rural Social Scheme

Ballyhoura Development employs 53 people on the Rural Social Scheme (RSS), which is an employment support scheme aimed at farmers and fisherpersons who are in receipt of long-term social welfare payments. RSS employees are employed for 19.5 hours per week to provide certain services of benefit to rural communities, which may include:

  • Maintaining and enhancing waymarked ways
  • Energy conservation work for the elderly and less well off
  • Village and countryside enhancement projects
  • Social care and care of the elderly, community care for both pre-school and after-school groups
  • Environmental maintenance work-maintenance and caretaking of community and sporting facilities
  • Projects relating to not for profit cultural and heritage centres
  • Appropriate community projects identified during the course of the scheme
  • Community Administration/Clerical work

You may be eligible to participate in the Rural Social Scheme if you are in receipt of Farm Assist and have an active herd number. For furhter information, please contact us

Full details of the Scheme are available here

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Local Training Initiatives

Ballyhoura Development co-ordinates and delivers four Local Training Initiatives (LTIs) for unemployed people in the area, in partnership with Cork Education & Training Board and with Limerick & Clare Education and Training Board.

The LTI programme is designed to provide opportunities for learners who are, or who have been, unable to participate in other mainstream training interventions for personal, social or geographic reasons.

Local Training Initiatives are targeted primarily at people under 35 years of age, with no formal qualifications or incomplete secondary level qualifications. LTIs provide vocational training opportunities, learning supports and project-based learning to assist participants to achieve awards on the NFQ and to develop their capacity to progress to further training, education and work.

The LTIs being delivered in 2018/2019 are:

  • Catering Support QQI Level 4 in Charleville
  • Retail Skills QQI Level 4 in Mitchelstown
  • Outdoor Recreation Leader Skills QQI Level 5 in Kilfinane

For further information on any of these courses, or if you would like to enroll, please contact Carrie O’Donoghue at or telephone 063 91747.

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Sustainable Energy Communities

Ballyhoura Development, in partnership with Tipperary Energy Agency and North Tipperary LEADER Partnership, is an implementing partner for the SECs initiative in the Mid-West, supported by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

A Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) is one where people develop and implement a sustainable energy plan for their local community, designed to save money and create local jobs through energy efficiency, and the use of local suitable renewable energy sources.

SECs are encouraged to join the SEAI supported SEC Network to help build capacity and share skills across communities. Ballyhoura Development’s role is to provide support and mentoring to interested communities to enable them to apply for and be granted SEC status.

If you would like to know more about how to become a Sustainable Energy Community, please click here.

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Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Programme

Ballyhoura Development manages and operates three Community Afterschool facilities for children of primary school age, supported by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, and POBAL.

The Community Afterschool facilities operate in Caherconlish, Caherline and Cappamore in Co. Limerick, and in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, providing a childcare service outside of school hours, focused on enhancing children’s recreational, social and educational development.

The Afterschool facilities provide a safe, professional, inclusive service, offering:

  • Facilitated homework sessions
  • Healthy eating in a fun environment
  • Recreational activities – arts, crafts, IT, etc
  • Sporting activities

If you would like to find out more, for further information, or to see if there is availability, please contact Laura Moloney at or telephone 086 395 9361.

Full details of the CCS Programme and how it operates are available here

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Community Food Initiative

Ballyhoura Development implements and manages the Community Food Initiative in the region, supported by, and administered nationally by SECAD.

The Initiative aims to positively influence the eating habits of parents and children, by showcasing healthy eating initiatives, facilitating parents to learn about nutrition and healthy food preparation, and by providing small grants to support community-led training projects.

The key themes of the Initiative are:

  • Supporting an increased awareness/ knowledge around healthy eating
  • Healthy shopping
  • Budgeting and food/meal planning skills
  • Cooking skills
  • Improving the availability and access to safe and healthy food in the community and complementing existing structures that offer healthy options
  • Preventing food wastage, and promoting food safety and hygiene

Events taking place as part of this initiative are posted regularly on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

To find out more about activities and events planned in your area, please contact Ella Conway at on 063 91300.

Full details of the Initiative are available on the website here

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Programme for Employability, Inclusion & Learning (PEIL) 2014 – 2020

Ballyhoura Development, in partnership with South East Cork Area Development (SECAD), co-ordinates and implements two key projects, supported by this Programme, which is the Gender Equality strand of the European Social Fund (ESF).

Healthcare Options Programme

The Healthcare Options Programme is a three year programme which provides accredited Healthcare training to women who, although not classified as unemployed, have the potential and the desire to return to work, in the healthcare sector.

Women’s Entrepreneurship Programme

The Women’s Entrepreneurship Programme focuses on providing training, education and networking supports and skills to women who wish to become entrepreneurs. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2014 Report for Ireland1, reported that Irish men are 2.1 times more likely than Irish women to be an Early Stage Entrepreneur, and 2.4 times more likely than Irish women to be New Business Owners. The EU-28 average ratio of 1.8:1 of men to women Early Stage Entrepreneurs suggests that there is still a pool of women entrepreneurs to be supported by this Programme.

If you would like to participate in either of these programmes or would like to find out more information about the programmes, please contact Eileen O’Keeffe at or telephone 063 30694.

Full information on the Programme and its operations in Ireland is available here

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Community Enterprise Initiative

Ballyhoura Development provides supports to existing and fledgling businesses and social enterprises, through the utilisation of existing infrastructure and the leveraging of nationally available enterprise supports, with a particular focus on food enterprise and innovation in the Ballyhoura area.

Our strategy aims to:

  • Increase awareness of the prominence of food throughout the Ballyhoura region
  • Identify new approaches to support an environment of Food entrepreneurialism
  • Foster the next generation of Food Entrepreneurs through a programme of engagement and education focused on Food Provenance and Business Skills
  • Increase the resource base available to enterprises by facilitating collaboration between agencies, institutions and stakeholders
  • Provide a platform for sharing and collaboration between businesses within the region.For further information, please contact us.
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Brokerage of Community Services Programmes

The Community Services Programme (CSP) gives grants to community businesses that deliver services and create employment for people from disadvantaged groups. The Programme is funded by the Department of Social Protection and supports some 425 community companies and co-operatives.

The CSP works in communities where public and private-sector services are lacking, for example through geographical or social isolation, or because of demand deficits (i.e. where demands are not being met by existing services)

It also aims to ensure that the benefits from public investment in community amenities are fully realised. One example of this is where additional CSP funding could enable an existing service to operate for longer hours.

Companies and co-operatives under contract with this programme must be not-for-profits, social enterprises or community businesses. The CSP works on a social-enterprise model. This means that it does not fully fund contract holders (i.e. grant recipients), but requires that they generate revenue by charging fees or raising funds. These enterprises remain responsible for their own budgets and financial and other liabilities.

The CSP is not open for new applications at present, but to find out more information or to check for new funding calls, please visit the Pobal website.



RurInno is a transnational project aimed at strengthening the skills and the innovative capacity of social entrepreneurs operating in rural regions, improving the knowledge of how social innovations are implemented in rural regions and raising awareness of social entrepreneurship in rural regions in order to foster enabling environments for their activities.

The project runs for three years until March 2018, and is being implemented by a consortium of 6 organisations:

Ballyhoura Development – Ballyhoura, Ireland

Nidzica Development Foundation NIDA – Nidzica, Poland

OTELO eGen – Austria

Stevia Hellas Coop – Lamia, Greece

Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space – Berlin, Germany

Institute for Innovation Management, Johannes Kepler University -Linz, Austria

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 691181.

Please visit the RurInno Project website here

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RurAction is a transnational research and training project that focuses on barriers to social enterprise in particular rural regions in Europe and on the impact of social entrepreneurship as a means of developing innovative solutions to problems and service needs in rural regions.

Ballyhoura Development is one of 12 partner organisations participating in the delivery of the project, which runs for three years from mid 2017 until mid 2020. Partner organisations include social enterprises, development organisations and academic bodies from Germany, Greece, Denmark, Austria, Poland and Ireland.

Ballyhoura Development’s role in the project is centred on the theme of social entrepreneurs as ‘troubleshooters’ in rural regions and the aim of this element of the project is to provide knowledge of institutional and organisational aspects of social entrepreneurial problem-solving activities in rural regions.

The project is being funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 721999.

The project website, blog and project updates are available here

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Social Enterprise Services

Ballyhoura Development offers a range of governance and financial support services to social enterprises and constituted community organisations.

Services offered include:

  • Company Secretarial Services
  • Financial Services
  • Compliance & Regulatory Services

For further information, to discuss your needs, or for a quick quote, please contact us


Towards Occupation

The Towards Occupation (TO) programme aims to address the needs of people experiencing mental ill-health, those with low levels of educational attainment and/or with limited, or no employment experience.

The TO Programme offers community based support to those experiencing multiple barriers to progression, and is delivered in line with national government policy which promotes an ethos of healthy living and mental well-being, by providing training and wellness tools in a community setting that is geographically accessible to individuals living in those areas. It aims to support participants to develop the skills and confidence needed to move into employment, education, training, voluntary work, or in other directions.

With an emphasis on social inclusion, it facilitates access to mainstream services which enable the individual to achieve personal goals. It is based on the principles of equality and inclusion, with a focus on participation, progression and positive mental health and self-care.

Services provided focus on:

  • Personal effectiveness
  • Practical and tangible skills
  • Progression planning
  • Other supports, e.g. one-to-one supports

The Programme model was pioneered and developed by 5 Local Development Companies – Avondhu Blackwater Partnership Ltd, Ballyhoura Development Limited, IRD Duhallow, SECAD and West Limerick Resources – and is supported by the Department of Social Protection, the HSE, LCETB and CETB.

The 2017/2018 Programme is being facilitated and delivered in Hospital, Co Limerick and in Charleville, Co Cork by Ballyhoura Development.

If you would like to find out more or to participate in the programme, please contact Carrie O’Donoghue on or telephone 063 91747.

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Resilient Youth ReY Programme

UNEET Programme

Project Overview

UNEET is a collaborative, transnational project focused on supporting and progressing young people classified as NEET (not in Education, Employment, and Training) into employment in the hotel, restaurant and catering (HORECA) sectors, by matching the recruitment needs of the sector with the existing labour demand of young adults in six North West Europe regions:

  • Ballyhoura region
  • Co. Donegal
  • Paris, Ile de France
  • Kassel region, Germany
  • Fife, Scotland
  • Dundee & Angus, Scotland

Project Summary

UNEET aims to create a comprehensive open source technology platform linking young adults, companies and partner organisations with a common purpose. Its purpose will be twofold:

  • A digital platform offering innovative online training curricula enabling jobseekers to evaluate
    and enhance their competencies, adapted to their needs, and to the HORECA sector
  • A job board where unemployed young adults and companies can easily meet and interact

The platform will include innovative digital tools such as video resumes, digital mentoring, simulators of job interviews, virtual visits of companies, as well as hangout and mentoring sessions, aimed at facilitating clients to progress and succeed in their pathway towards professional employment within the HORECA sector.

The platform will include a specific module on transnational mobility in the HORECA sector. Unlike an Erasmus project, the objective of this module will not be to support candidates in their mobility process but to showcase, inform and show them the opportunities for work in other countries and means of doing so, through information and practical tools.

Finally, UNEET aims to develop an offline coaching methodology to compliment the services offered by the platform. Through training, NEETs will be supported to reinforce their personal and professional development and their interpersonal and communication skills, in order to enhance their readiness for employment. The project will include digital workshops, specific training/s relevant to the HORECA sector, and sessions focused on job preparation and candidate readiness for recruitment processes and subsequent professional development.


Development and implementation of this project involves close collaboration with young people, with employers in the hospitality, restaurant and catering sectors and with stakeholders such as training organisation, local government, youth organisations, etc.

Target Group

Young people aged 15 to 29, not in employment, education or training within the HORECA sector.

Project Partners

  • Ballyhoura Development CLG
  • Donegal Local Development Company CLG
  • Fondation Agir Contre L’Exclusion (FACE), France
  • Landkreis Kassel, Germany
  • Dundee & Angus College, Scotland
  • Fife Council, Scotland
  • ADICE, France

To find out more, please contact:
Catherine Smyth

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Ability Programme

The Ability Programme runs for 3 years from July 2018, until July 2021 and is a collaboration between Ballyhoura Development, IRD Duhallow and South East Cork Area Development (SECAD), working closely with a number of named referral agencies that provide supports and services to disabled people.

The aim of Ability Programme is to bring young people with disabilities, who are not work-ready, closer to the labour market, using a range of person-centred supports.

The Ability Programme defines young people as individuals who are between the ages of 15 to 29 when registering for Ability supports. For the purpose of the Ability programme, people with disabilities refers to people with physical or sensory disabilities, mental health conditions, acquired
disabilities, intellectual disabilities, hidden disabilities and people on the autism spectrum.

In order to qualify for support, Ability participants must also be:

  • In receipt of disability allowance or invalidity pension
  • In receipt of illness benefit for more than three months
  • Referred to the project by relevant organisations or services supporting
    young people with disabilities

The programme will provide a comprehensive suite of intensive, tailored one to one supports and tailored training to 90 young people over the course of the 3 year programme, to improve their pathways to work through building confidence, independence, inherent skills and talents.

For further information, please contact Carrie O’Donoghue, email:

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Resilient Youth (ReY) Programme

Ballyhoura Development is delivering the ReY Programme until December 2018, with a further programme anticipated for 2019. The aim of the Resilient Youth Project (ReY) is to support and empower young people who are not in education, employment or training, and living in rural areas, to overcome a range of personal and physical barriers relating to access and uptake of educational, employment and recreational opportunities, through the provision of a range of individualised coaching, mentoring and training supports.

In autumn 2018, ReY is operating mainly in Mitchelstown, with plans to expand the programme to other parts of the Ballyhoura area in 2019.

For further information, please contact Carrie O’Donoghue,

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