The new LEADER Programme for 2023-2027 is now OPEN in County Monaghan. We are announcing details of a time-limited call for tourism projects under the Economic Development and Job Creation theme – Rural Tourism and Recreation Sub Theme. We are looking for Expressions of Interest from projects that ‘develop eco-tourism and niche based tourism products and rebuild the accommodation base’.

The types of projects that can be funded includes eco-tourism and niche based tourism products and tourism accommodation. In general LEADER can fund up to 75% of project costs to a maximum of €200,000. In relation to the accommodation projects, the LAG has agreed to fund cluster type accommodation (glamping, shepherds huts, camping and caravan etc.) at a rate of 75% to a maximum of €120,000 and non-cluster type accommodation (self-catering etc.) at 75% of cost to a maximum of €70,000. A budget of €450,000 is allocated for this call.

Expressions of Interest will be accepted from Tuesday the 25th June 2024 and must be received by Friday the 19th July 2024. Your completed Expression of Interest Form should outline your project proposal and an idea of cost, and will be used to check if the project is eligible to progress to full application stage.

To coincide with the opening of the Time Limited Call, we are hosting an information event on:
  • Tuesday 25th June 2024 at 7:30pm at Monaghan Integrated Development, Unit 9 Drumillard Business Park, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan A75 HR59.
This event will give an overview of the types of project that may be eligible under this call, the rates and levels of funding, budget available, and information on the Expression of Interest, application and selection process. There will also be an opportunity to talk to Development staff to discuss your project idea after the presentation. (Please note that B&B accommodation that is part of private residential accommodation is ineligible under the new programme.)

For an Expression of Interest form - Click Here.
Further information about the LEADER programme is available in the Programmes section above. If you have any queries, contact Monaghan Integrated Development at 042 974 9500 or email  

The POLIRURAL Plus project is a pioneering research and innovation initiative aimed at advancing rural policy development in the context of disruptive data and technologies. The goal is to deliver a reliable, scalable, and transferable solution for policy co-creation in rural areas across the EU by promoting coordinated and collaborative development within the regions. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme.  For more information, please visit the website: 

This Play offers a fast-paced sequence of stories that are a microcosm of the history of the Traveller Community over the past 40 years. It chronicles Michael’s personal journey from living in a barrel-top wagon as a child on the road with his family, to their move to Dublin and the end of the traditional way of life. Along the way, he must convince his daughter to stay in school—an unconventional point of view for Travellers long resistant to assimilation.
Garage Theatre Monaghan - Thursday 16th November @ 7.30pm
May be an image of 5 people and text that says 'IT'S A CULTURAL THING! ...OR IS IT? 山 පς "A TRAVELLER IN PROGRESS" Michael Collins Patricia McCarthy SICAP Mick Rafferty Social Inclusion Activation Programme Thursday 16th November 7.30pm Garage Theatre Monaghan "This project co-funded he Government Ireland and he European Union." "Tá tionscadal cómhaoinithe ag Rialtas na Eireann agus tAontas Eorpach.'

A national Ukrainian choir, brought together by Local Development Companies across Ireland, has released a new version of Phil Coulter's single, 'Steal Away', in collaboration with the singer. The choir is made up of 40 people including singer Olena Afanasieva from Clones, who fled Ukraine as a result of the war.
The single, translated into Ukrainian, was launched at a special event in St Stephen's Church, Dublin, where the choir performed with Phil Coulter.
'Steal Away' by Phil Coulter and the National Ukrainian Choir is now available to download on Apple music and Spotify.

The Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) have announced a call for LEADER Food Initiative Project Applications. At least €883,000 in funding is available nationally in this call for LEADER Food Initiative projects.

Project applicants must be an Artisan, Micro, Small food producer or an on-farm diversification enterprise and registered as a food producer with the relevant Competent Authority as per Regulation (EC) No 852/2004. Start-up food businesses must be registered as a food producer with the relevant Competent Authority as per Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 before receiving payment under the LEADER Food Initiative. Such registration is a condition of funding. This grant aid is also for investment in local processing facilities, which allow farmers to sell their products into the local and wider domestic markets. Medium enterprises are not eligible under this initiative.

Projects must be fully completed by 31 March 2024.
Those eligible to apply are food enterprises who are Artisan, Micro or Small food producers or on-farm diversification enterprises. Projects must be in the areas of
(1) Market development,

(2) Competitiveness or

(3) Innovation

This is a two stage competitive process with at least €883,000 in funding available nationally.
The first stage is submission of an Expression of Interest (EOI). This EOI can be downloaded HERE and must be submitted to  by Monday the 28th August at the latest. Your completed form will be presented to the Department for their review and the Department will select the projects nationally that will proceed to full application.

Exact timeframes for the completion of the full application process are yet to be determined, but we anticipate a short turnaround period of possibly 3-4 weeks for submission of your completed full application form and supporting documentation.

 Vacancies Available on the Rural Social Scheme

The Rural Social Scheme is a government initiative funded by the Department of Social Protection and administered in Co. Monaghan by Monaghan Integrated Development CLG.


The scheme provides an opportunity for farmers or their spouses, and in some cases their children or their siblings to earn additional income through employment provided in their local communities. The main aim of the RSS is to use the skills and knowledge of the local farming community in the development of local amenities, facilities, and services. All the work carried out by participants on the RSS will be community-based.

Types of Work

  • Environmental services (conservation and maintenance of national walkways)
  • Caring services (childcare, care of older people) 
  • General community services (newsletters or information provision for communities)
  • Para-educational services community playgroups
  • Energy conservation work in community buildings
  • Social care for all age groups and people with disabilities
  • Caretaking, securing, and supervising community buildings and spaces
  • Renovation of community and sporting facilities, including the regeneration and enhancement of community, recreation, and sporting spaces
  • Work in support of cultural and heritage activities
  • Community administration and community event management
  • Coaching for sporting activities

The types of work carried out under the RSS include 19.5 hours per week and these hours will be based on a farmer-friendly schedule in order to ensure that it does not impede farming activities. To be eligible to participate on the RSS applicants must be actively farming, be between 25 and 66 years of age AND be in receipt of one of the following payments from the Department of Social Protection

  • Farm Assist.
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • Jobseeker’s Benefit, if previously on a FÁS Community Employment Scheme or the Rural Social Scheme in the previous 12 months.
  • Disability Allowance.
  • One-Parent Family Payment.
  • Widow(ers)/Surviving Civil Partner’s Pension (contributory and non-contributory).

In most cases, the rate of payment on the RSS will be equal to the current rate of payment in addition to a top-up payment of €27.50. There is a minimum weekly payment of €247.50. A class A9 PRSI contribution is paid on behalf of all RSS participants and the payment is not subject to the Universal Social Charge.

In order for an applicant to be deemed eligible to participate on Rural Social Scheme, they must provide proof that they are actively farming by providing a copy of: Their application for the EU Basic Payment Scheme for the current year, which includes a valid herd number together with a copy of the associated receipts.

OR  for online forms taken from The Department of Agriculture website, the following will be accepted:

A copy of the review and submit page and a copy of the confirmation page for the year prior to the participant applying for Rural Social Scheme • A copy of the application summary details as above

Eligible Organisations

  • The work placements are proposed and provided by community and voluntary organisations.
  • The organisations must provide good quality work opportunities that are of benefit to the community.
  • Organisations with a proposed work placement should register with MID.
  • They will be asked to submit an application detailing the work and the number of participants requested.
  • MID will then assess and make a decision on the proposal.

The criteria for eligible organisations are as follows

  • Be Community, voluntary, and not-for-profit in nature: and
  • Have a recognised informal or formal/legal structure; and
  • Have a track record of working with or providing services to and within their communities; and
  • Demonstrate a capacity of managing the candidate in the work placement with the supervisory support of the Implementing Body.
  • Be able to provide a beneficial placement experience for the Person(s) in placement

There are 72 RSS Positions in Co. Monaghan and MID has a panel in place for interested candidates to join the RSS Scheme or for Community Groups wanting to become placement providers. 

If you are interested in becoming an RSS participant or if you are a community and voluntary organisation interested in applying to host RSS participants or seeking further information on the scheme you can contact any of the following:

Team Leader & South Monaghan Area - Aurelia Callan - 087 6021177/  

North Monaghan - Kathryn McCague - 087 7927902 /  

West Monaghan - Geraldine Maguire - 087 4171052 /  

Southside Partnership - Social Enterprise Support







New agricultural show management software supported by Monaghan LEADER

The Irish Shows Association (ISA) is delighted to announce the launch of its ISA SuperShow Platform, an integrated show management IT system, which will be available to its members throughout Ireland. During the enforced break in ISA’s regular activities due to COVID-19, the association was able to focus on bringing this innovative digitalisation project to fruition.

In recent years, shows have found it increasingly difficult to attract people to administrative positions due to the significant time and paperwork involved. Recognising the need to future-proof their shows, the ISA set about seeking funding to develop a cloud-based show management system to reduce the administrative burden on the agricultural show volunteers.
Following investment in market research and a feasibility study, the ISA went to tender and awarded the contract to Irish software development and integration company, Dotser. The ISA is delighted to partner with an indigenous Irish company to provide this exciting ICT solution to member shows. This new system will allow organisers/entrants/participants to log information, such as animal details, only once and use this same data for their next show.

The project is part-funded under the LEADER national cooperation programme, which is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Agriculture as part of Project Ireland 2040.

The project is being led out by Monaghan Integrated Development CLG in partnership with Avondhu Blackwater Partnership CLG, Galway Rural Development CLG and Southwest Mayo Development Company CLG.

Gabriel O'Connell, CEO of Monaghan Integrated Development and Lead project Partner says: “It has been a great pleasure to work with the Board of the Irish Shows Association and being able to support this worthwhile project under the LEADER National Cooperation Measure. He noted that Monaghan LEADER Local Action Group was on board from the start, cooperation funding meant we could pool together resources from the 4 counties involved and provide the support needed to develop this innovative shows management system which will make sure local agricultural shows in Ireland continue in the community well into the future."

45 ISA member shows will be live on the new system for the coming showing season and exhibitors are encouraged to avail of this very useful service. A list of all participating shows will be published on the Irish Shows Association website,

The roll-out of the project has commenced with training actively underway including a session held at the ISA AGM recently, where Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys commended the ISA for "the great work being done in digitising and future proofing the shows".