LEADER Rally: 9th July at Dáil Eireann Keep LEADER in the Community: NO to Alignment South Tipperary Development Company, and other Local Development Companies from across the country, is calling on communities to support the forthcoming LEADER Rally in support of the retention of the bottom-up approach of LEADER by local development companies. The rally will take place on Wednesday July 9th at 1.30pm at Dáil Eireann and will be addressed by Marian Harkin MEP, Liadh Ní Riada MEP and others. South Tipperary Development Company and its predecessor Tipperary LEADER Group has successfully delivered the LEADER Programme for over 20 years. Now, however, the government is proposing to change this system, which is regarded by the EU as being a model of best practice throughout Europe, and one that has successfully supported the economic, social and community development of rural communities throughout Ireland in recent decades. As the main structure of the Company is dependent on the LEADER Programme, if LEADER funding is taken away from South Tipperary Development Company other vital Programmes such as Tús, the Rural Social Scheme, Rural Recreation Officer, (walks), Traveller Public Health Programme, The Incredible Years Programme, Ballylynch Playschool and the Home Repairs Service, are also threatened by these proposed changes. The proposed policy change being driven forward by Minister Hogan & the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government is called alignment, and aims to transfer the delivery of the LEADER Programme to a newly established committee within each Local Authority Area. Local Development Companies are now entering a critical phase in determining the outcome of this alignment process; the protection of the LEADER model in Ireland, which is the most successful LEADER delivery structure in the EU, is in danger of being lost, and with it, the years of experience, skills, expertise & local relationships built up over the years by South Tipperary Development Company and similar companies. Now, more than ever, we need your support, so that communities – and not Local Authority Committees – can continue to decide how LEADER funding should be administered in Tipperary. South Tipperary Development Company will be organising transport to the event and would be grateful for your support. Buses will depart from various locations in the county from 8.30am and will leave Dublin to return to Tipperary at 6pm. The Rally will take place outside Dáil Eireann at 1.30pm on Wednesday 9th July. Please confirm your availability to travel by emailing southtipprally@gmail.com or telephone 087 7607880