The rally ‘Keep LEADER in the Community: No to Alignment’ takes place at 1.30pm outside Dáil Eíreann and will be addressed by Marian Harkin MEP, Liadh Ní Riada MEP and others.
Minister Phil Hogan’s proposal to make local authorities the new LEADER groups from 2015 has met with strong resistance from rural communities across the country.
CLDC Chairman Stephen Walsh says that “this rally will give a loud and clear message to the politicians that rural communities will not allow their community led LEADER groups to be dismantled and replaced by state led bodies”.
The proposed policy of ‘alignment’ being driven by Minister Phil Hogan aims to transfer the delivery of the LEADER Programme to newly established committees which are Local Authority led.
According to Stephen Walsh, “LEADER groups are now entering a critical phase in determining the outcome of the alignment process; the LEADER model in Ireland, which is the most successful in Europe, is in danger of being lost, and with it, the years of experience, skills, expertise & local relationships built over 20 years by CLDC and similar groups all over Ireland”.