Irish Rural Link (IRL)– the national network representing the interest of rural communities are partnering with Rural Action NI, for its Annual Conference tomorrow, Thursday 24th June. Due to continued COVID-19 restrictions the conference will be online via Zoom.

The theme of this year’s conference is Making Connections: Preparing for Funding Opportunities and Cross Border Collaboration.  The conference will be an opportunity for community groups and organisations in the community & volunteer sector and other sectors to hear about new funding available or coming on stream for cross border projects. There will also be a number of thematic workshops to help get participants thinking about potential projects, while also presenting them with the opportunity to meet and network with potential partners. The conference will help to strengthen existing cross border collaborations and hopefully create new ones, encouraging those who have not previously participated in cross border projects to get involved.

Speakers on the day include representatives from; Community Foundation Ireland, who are responsible for the delivery of the All Island fund for community groups, SEUPB, who have delivered previous PEACE and Interreg EU funding and is responsible for the new PEACE Plus funding; International Fund for Ireland who focus on promoting social and economic advance and encouraging contact, dialogue and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties; and Pobal, administrator for community and voluntary sector funding in the south.

Speaking about the conference, CEO of Irish Rural Link, Seamus Boland said: “We are delighted to be able to partner with our colleagues from Rural Action to bring communities both North and South this very timely event. IRL have worked with a number of organisations in Northern Ireland over the years, as have many of our members, and we see this as an opportunity to encourage more organisations to get involved and participate in joint projects as we recover from the pandemic and adapt to Brexit, climate change and digitalisation”.

Teresa Canavan, CEO of Rural Action said “This conference will provide an excellent opportunity for groups in the community and voluntary sector in Northern Ireland and Ireland to come together to discuss ideas and more importantly help bring about positive change to support our rural communities. Rural communities have faced a real challenge in the past few years and with colleagues in Irish Rural Link, we look forward to helping support these rural communities in the months and years ahead”.

The conference takes place on Zoom on Thursday 24th June. This is a FREE event but registration is necessary. More details and to register is available on