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petercouchman     joanvaughan


maryfogarty     Patrick Killeen


Kevin Leydon       Bobby Kerr


 Press Releases




The Conference Overview

Ireland’s First National Rural Retail Conference took place in the Horse and Jockey Hotel, Horse and Jockey Co Tipperary, on the 21st March.   The conversations focused on the importance of bringing retail back to our rural communities.  The day was great success and brought a great crowd.

Helen Carroll, RTE’s Ear to the Ground presenter; was event moderator.  The conference speakers came from a variety of backgrounds; from Peter Couchman, CEO of the Plunkett Foundation UK, to Bobby Kerr, Entrepreneur & businessman to community champions who have set up community cooperatives in their community.  Also speaking was NUIG professor Kevin Leyden and North Tipperary LEADER Partnership Project Officer Patrick Killeen.

The conference was welcomed by Helen Carroll and introductions by Declan Rice CEO of Kilkenny LEADER Partnership.  Declan said “We see this day as a spark to light a movement in rural retail.”

The conference also held four workshops to discuss a variety of topics including Set up and Structure, Finance, Volunteerism and Attracting and Keeping Customers.

The Conference ended on a positive note as Declan Rice predicted, ” We hope to see rural community shop growth in Ireland nationwide.  Community shops will become huge over the next few years.”