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Rural Conversation No. 2: ‘Enhancing social cohesion among communities in rural Ireland’


Thursday, February 28, 2019, 11:00 - 13:30


M111/112/113, Muirhevna Building, Dundalk Institute of Technology


Free of charge but registration is essential and only ticket holders will be admitted
Send expressions of interest to attend to

This is the second in a series of three Rural Conversations, hosted in three Higher Education Institutions around the island of Ireland in November 2018, February 2019 and April 2019.

28 February, 11:00-13:30 in the Muirhevna Building, Dundalk Institute of Technology

Registration with tea/coffee from 10:15
Networking lunch at 13:30

‘Enhancing social cohesion among communities in rural Ireland’ is the second in a series of three Rural Conversations.

This roundtable feedback event will elicit stakeholders' contributions on enhancing social cohesion among communities in rural Ireland.  The outputs from the event will help to inform the development of future Government policy on rural development.

The purpose of this second roundtable event is for stakeholders to contemplate ways of enhancing social cohesion among communities in rural Ireland.  Stakeholders will be seated at a number of roundtables and will discuss and formulate recommendations on three questions.  During the feedback sessions, stakeholders' recommendations will be fed back to the room and recorded in a rapporteur's report and audio recorded for podcasting.

Social cohesion can be identified as the bonds that link rural dwellers to one another and to the community as a whole. It includes all community members (e.g. age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, family size, ethnicity, income, and education). A highly cohesive community exhibits equitable member inclusion and community collaboration in pursuit of collective social and economic prosperity. Social cohesion barriers include member isolation, mistrust, fear of crime, insufficient support structures and a lack of communal spaces.

Feedback from roundtables will be sought under these questions:

  1. What are the key positive and negative factors impacting social cohesion in rural communities?
  2. Which cohorts within rural communities are most affected by a lack of cohesion among and between community segments (e.g. youth, elderly, new citizens, etc.), and how are they impacted?
  3. What actions need to be taken in order to enhance cohesion and strengthen social support structures for all rural dwellers?

There will be a rapporteur's report of the series in which we may include names of attendees and their affiliations. The roundtable feedback by the Chairs at each roundtable (not the full discussions at the roundtables) will be audio recorded. There may also be a photographer at this event. Please read the attached Transparency and Consent Information document in relation to all of those items.

It is important that there is a broad cross-section of representatives from the stakeholder community providing the feedback of recommendations. Therefore, we may need to review registrations to ensure broad representation of stakeholders.  Should we find that there is an imbalance in the stakeholders who have registered we may need to adjust for that.

The first event in this series took place on 8 November 2018 in NUIG and it  dealt with 'Delivering economic development in rural Ireland'.  The event including the roundtable feedback was recorded and is available on our website

The final stakeholder event in the series will focus on sustainable rural communities and will take place in Waterford Institute of Technology on 4 April 2019.

The Rural Conversations series is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development.  This event is hosted by Dundalk Institute of Technology.

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