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Rural Social Scheme

The Rural Social Scheme (RSS) was set up to address certain issues in rural Ireland:

  • To provide income support for farmers and fishermen who are currently in receipt of long term Social Welfare payments
  • To provide certain services of benefit to rural communities by harnessing the skills and talents of the farmers participating on the scheme.
  • Participants will experience opportunities to improve existing, or develop new skills, and perform valuable work in the community
  • The RSS provides additional resources to maintain and improve local amenities and facilities in rural communities.

Leitrim was the pilot for the Rural Social Scheme upon its inception in 2004. The Scheme has continued to grow over the years and delivers a much needed community service throughout the County. At present Leitrim Development Company has a quota of 134 participants on the scheme with a support team of 6 Supervisors and 1 Co-ordinator. Work is ongoing throughout County Leitrim and provides community-based work on a part-time basis (19.5 hours per week). Participants work on a variety of projects across all measures of work.

Who is eligible to participate on the Rural Social Scheme

To be eligible to participate, an individual must be in receipt of an active herd number and be in receipt of one of the following long-term Social Welfare payments:

  • Farm Assist/Fish Assist
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance,
  • Jobseeker's Benefit (only if on CE Scheme/RSS in previous 12 months),
  • Disability Allowance,
  • One Parent Family Payment
  • Widow(ers) Payment – contributory and non-contributory,
  • Adult dependents of non-contributory old age pensioners under 66 years of age etc.
  • The dependent spouse/child/sibling of a person qualified to participate in the scheme as an alternate, i.e. instead of the spouse to whom the herd number is allocated.

The applicant must provide proof that the qualifying herd number is active by providing a copy of his/her Single Farm Payment (SFP) for the current year.

Participation on the Rural Social Scheme

The scheme in Leitrim appoints local farmers in 6 scheme areas which stretch the length and breadth of the county. Each scheme has a dedicated Supervisor who works with local communities and participants to carry out a broad range of work plans which fall into the following broad range of categories. These are as follows:

  • Maintaining and enhancing waymarked ways, agreed walks and bog roads;
  • Energy conservation work for the elderly and the 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 care-taking of community and sporting facilities,
  • Projects relating to not for profit cultural and heritage centres;
  • Community Administration/Clerical duties.
  • Any other appropriate community work identified during course of the scheme

For further information on the Rural Social Scheme in your area please contact:

Rural Social SchemeArea CoveredContact Number
James Brogan - SupervisorMid- Leitrim086 8521785
Margaret Sharkey - SupervisorNorth-West Leitrim086 8521791
Seamus Shanley - SupervisorNorth-East Leitrim086 8521798
Gerry Keegan - SupervisorSouth Leitrim086 7716896
John Charles - SupervisorSouth Leitrim086 7777611

Karen Guihen – Employment Programmes Co-ordinator Tel: 071 9641770 ext. 202
Leitrim Development Company,
Church Street,
Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim, N41 RF24

To download an application form, please visit the Downloads section of the website.

Main Office

Church Street
Co. Leitrim N41 RF24

Tel: (071) 9641770
Fax: (071) 9641741

Sub Offices

Mohill Enterprise Centre
Co. Leitrim N41 Y4C0

Tel: (071) 9631715
Fax: (071) 9631895


New Line
Co. Leitrim F91 YK5R

Tel/Fax: (071) 9856016

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The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) is co-funded by the Irish Government, through the Department of Rural and Community Development, and the European Social Fund Plus under the Employment, Inclusion, Skills and Training (EIST) Programme 2021 -2027.

Leitrim Integrated Development Company Ltd - Reg. Office, Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim. Reg. No. 451100 CHY No: 20070700

European Commission Website EAFRD

Department of Rural & Community Development

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