HSE invites people aged 65-69 to register for their COVID-19 AstraZeneca Vaccine

HSE invites people aged 65-69 to register for their COVID-19 AstraZeneca Vaccine


  • Register online at www.hse.ie or by phone at 1850 24 1850 for HSE vaccination appointments
  • Vaccines will be given during April and May


On Wednesday, 14th April 2021, the HSE confirmed details of the next group of people to be offered COVID-19 vaccines and introduced the COVID-19 online registration system.


Over the coming weeks, about 180,000 people aged 65 to 69 will be asked to register for their COVID-19 vaccine on the HSE website. People in this group will be vaccinated at one of the HSE vaccination centres around the country using the AstraZeneca vaccine. Online registration will commence at 10am tomorrow, Thursday April 15th, beginning with people aged 69.


The vaccine being offered to people aged 65 to 69 is called COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. AstraZeneca has been approved for use by both the EMA (European Medicines Agency) and NIAC (National Immunisation Advisory Committee), in keeping with the strictest standards of safety and quality. It is recommended for use in people aged over 60 and licensed by regulators.


Our vaccination programme is now moving into an important new phase. We are introducing a new online registration system and inviting everyone aged 65-69 to register online. To avoid delays when we open registrations, we are asking people to register by age on specific days initially.


All 65-69 year olds should register online if you haven’t already been vaccinated or you haven’t received an appointment yet. If you have an appointment for vaccination already, through work, or because of a health condition, you don’t need to register online.  The quickest and easiest way to register is online at www.hse.ie. It is a new system which will register people, manage appointments, and provide a secure record of your vaccination. This group will be the first to use it and most groups being vaccinated from now on will also use it.


Our aim in offering the vaccine to the population is to protect people and reduce the illness and deaths caused by this virus.


Vaccinations for this group will start around 1 week after registration opens. Once a person has registered, we will send appointment details by SMS text message, 3 to 7 days before their vaccination is due to take place. People in this group will be vaccinated during April or May at one of the HSE vaccination centres around the country.


How to register:

For those registering on www.hse.ie for the vaccine you will need;

  • your PPS number
  • eircode
  • a mobile phone number and
  • an email address.

Alternatively people can call HSELive on 1850 24 1850 for assistance with the registration process.


We’re asking people to register on specific days. This will help us manage demand and make it easier for everyone to register. If you are aged:


  •  69 register on Thursday 15 April, or any time after
  • 68 register on Friday 16 April, or any time after
  • 67 register on Saturday 17 April, or any time after
  • 66 register on Sunday 18 April, or any time after
  • 65 register on Monday 19 April, or any time after


Registration will stay open for people in this age group after 19th April. You can register online or on the phone at your convenience. There is no hurry to register immediately; registering first does not mean a person will get vaccinated first.


Registration days are being staggered in this way to ensure we can provide good support to people using the system or calling our phone service.


Thereafter, registration will remain open and people can register online or on the phone at their convenience.


The HSE asks for people’s support and patience during this week to ensure an orderly registration. Everyone else will be called when it’s their turn for vaccination.


  • Online registration will open at www.hse.ie on Thursday at 10am
  • Phone registration will open at 1850 24 1850 on Thursday at 10am


Data Security

Data security is a priority for the HSE. The Vaccination Information System has been designed to ensure only necessary information is captured and stored securely in line with HSE data retention policies. All information is encrypted in transit and at rest.

User accounts created on registration use two factor authentication, email and mobile phone number, to provide people with secure access to their own information about their vaccination.


Visit hse.ie/rollout for information about registration.


A video explaining registration is available here https://youtu.be/v1JoC01Omgc

Monaghan County Council Notices 15th April 2021


South Dublin Street and Backlands Regeneration Scheme, Monaghan Town


Online Public Consultation


Monday 19th April – Friday 14th May 2021


Monaghan County Council has appointed design consultants RPS Consulting Engineers to develop detailed urban regeneration proposals for the South Dublin Street and Backlands Regeneration Project in Monaghan Town CentreRPS has developed design proposals for infrastructure development and public realm improvements on lands at 8 – 14 Dublin Street, lands to the rear of 1-9 The Diamond and 1-26 Dublin Street, incorporating the Courthouse car park and Lower Courthouse car park.  These design proposals include the creation of new streets, junctions, civic spaces, cycle paths, pedestrian linkages, and high quality public realm (including street furniture, lighting, boundary treatments, landscape planting, cycle parking, high quality surfacing and signage), and all other associated works.  The aim is to create a new high-quality scheme to attract new town centre development, and form part of a new Dublin Street Quarter.


RPS are now seeking your views on the draft design proposals.  In light of the on-going Covid-19 restrictions on public assembly, the public consultation will take place online.  You can find out about the project, view the draft proposals, and provide feedback online, at the website below from 19th April to 14th May 2021:




A consultation event will also be held in Monaghan County Council Offices on Wednesday 5th May 2021 between 10am and 6pm in which members of the RPS design team will be available to talk through the proposals and answer any queries.   Attendance at this event will be strictly by appointment only. To book an appointment, please contact RPS by telephone: 0044 2896 949723 or email: PACC@rpsgroup.com. Alternatively, you can book an appointment to speak to the design team via telephone: 0044 2896 949723.


You may also wish to provide comments or make representations to RPS by email: PACC@rpsgroup.com or alternatively you can also submit representations or comments on the proposed scheme in hard copy to Monaghan County Council, Planning Offices, 1 Dublin Street, Monaghan, H18 X982.


If you are unable to access the materials online, please contact RPS by telephone: 0044 2896 949723


All comments or feedback should be received no later than 21st May 2021.













Lambing time has now begun.

In the last month two sheep attacks were reported to the Dog Warden, one near Clones and one near Lough Egish.

These attacks cause great cruelty to sheep and lambs. These attacks result in serious losses for the farmer.


Any dog, large or small, may become involved in attacking sheep – MAKE SURE YOUR DOG DOESN’T GET THE CHANCE!

If you own a dog or dogs, you are required to:

  • Keep your dog under control at all times. This means not allowing your dog off your property unaccompanied.
  • Have a microchip certificate of registration which proves that your dog is microchipped and registered to you. (Required since 2016)
  • Ensure that every dog under your control wears a collar bearing the name and address of the owner at all times and that the name and address are legible.
  • Have a current licence for each dog in your possession or a general dog licence to cover all dogs in your possession. YOU CAN NOW BUY YOUR DOG LICENCE ONLINE AT monaghan.ie


Brendan Smyth

County Veterinary Officer

15th April 2021




Department of Public Health North East: A message to parents and carers as pupils return to school

Department of Public Health North East: A message to parents and carers as pupils return to school

April 14th, 2021:

The Department of Public Health HSE North East have been working closely with schools in the North East, to support schools in providing a safe environment for children and young people.
Returning to school is really important for our children and young people’s learning, social skills and well-being. Schools provide stability, a sense of achievement and a rich learning environment for children and young people. It is important that our children and young people are back at school, but if we are to keep them there and avoid further disruption, we must continue to comply with all of the public health advice and minimise contact with anyone outside of our households.

As children and young people return to school, the Department of Public Health HSE North East are advising parents and carers not to organise parties, sleepovers and visits to other people’s houses and asking them to be conscious of public health guidelines during school runs and pick-ups at school gates.
These actions increase the risk of spreading the virus without knowing it and the more the virus spreads the greater the risk of new strains taking hold. Even if you have had the vaccine, you still need to keep following public health guidelines.
Dr Sean Denyer, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, Department of Public Health HSE North East said: “As the normality of the daily school routine returns, it is important that we do not also see a return to playdates, car-pooling, coffee gatherings and birthday parties. These social gatherings are unfortunately contributing to the spread of COVID-19 among children, young people and subsequently in schools.”

“The classroom is a controlled environment in terms of hand hygiene, physical and seating arrangements, appropriate ventilation and environmental cleaning. School staff wear face coverings and secondary school students wear face coverings unless exempt for health reasons. Secondary school students should wear a face covering on transport to and from school.”

“Schools have been doing a heroic job during the pandemic, and parents and carers can help support them to decrease the number of COVID-19 cases in the region. We need now, more than ever, to continue to follow the public health guidelines and keep everyone safe. Children and young people should not be mixing with others outside of school time. Please talk to your child or young person about the importance of not gathering in groups and adhering to public health advice,”Dr Denyer added.

Make sure anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or have been asked to isolate due to potential exposure to the virus do not attend school. The most important action we can take to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19 is to follow the public health advice:
– ensure regular hand washing,
– practice good respiratory hygiene,
– keep two metres between yourself and other people,
– avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth,
– wear a mask,
– and download the COVID Tracker App.

For more information visit: www.hse.ie/coronavirus

Outdoor Seating & Accessories for Tourism & Hospitality Business’ Scheme

Now Closed.

Monaghan County Council has been directed by Failte Ireland to make an addendum to the guidelines for The Outdoor Seating and Accessories for Tourism and Hospitality Business.

In recognition of the global demand for outdoor seating and accessories in some instances suppliers are unable to complete orders until January 2022. In these ‘exceptional circumstances’ applicants can still apply under the scheme and will receive their grants once goods are delivered and they can provide proof of delivery and images of the furniture in-situ. Applicants need to apply for the scheme prior to the closing date which has now been extended to 8th October 2021 enclosing the quotes for goods, delivery dates from the suppliers and will still need to be compliant with all regulatory and planning requirements.

Please note the closing date has been extended to the 8th October 2021. – Closed for applications.

The ‘Outdoor Seating & Accessories for Tourism & Hospitality Business’ scheme is being delivered in partnership between Fáilte Ireland and Local Authorities across the country. The Scheme will provide funding for individual tourism and hospitality businesses to develop and increase their own outdoor seating capacity for the summer of 2021. This scheme will financially assist and support independent tourism and hospitality business owners to create outdoor dining experiences in a regulated and accessible manner.  Funding under the scheme is only available to existing businesses.

The scheme is open to attractions, hotels, restaurants, cafes, public houses or other tourism and hospitality business establishments where food is sold for consumption on the premises. As of 14 June 2021, the scheme has been extended to include traditional pubs. Eligibility is dependent on commercial rates due in respect of premises having been paid for the period up to 31st December 2019 or a payment plan being in place with the Local Authority.

The scheme will provide for up to 75% of the ex-VAT cost of equipment purchased/installed with a maximum allowable contribution of up to €4,000 per applicant.

Expenditure incurred on upgrades to outdoor dining spaces including but not limited to; tables, chairs, umbrellas, electric heaters, screens/windbreaks, plant stands, wooden platforms, etc. are considered eligible for the scheme. Tables, chairs, or other furniture shall be of robust and stable construction to prevent movement in adverse weather conditions and be agreed with Monaghan County Council. Monaghan County Council has the right to use its discretion in regard to its process and the development of appropriate terms and conditions that are appropriate for our respective streetscapes, businesses etc. All applicants will be required to comply with planning codes, legislative requirements and other compliance requirements.

Expenditure must be incurred between 1st April 2020 and 30th September 2021 and payment will be made by Local Authorities to approved applicants on submission of receipts and photography of furniture in situ.

The scheme is open for applications until 8th October 2021.

Street Furniture Licensing Guidance & Application Form (PDF)

For further Information and Application Form, please click on the link below:




Monaghan County Council Notices 8th April 2021



Temporary Closing of Roads – Emergency Closure

Monaghan County Council hereby gives notice of Emergency Closure in accordance with Section 75 of the Roads Act 1993 & Article 12 of the Roads Regulations 1994 that it will close the following road in the Municipal District of Ballybay-Clones in County Monaghan:


Date & Time:  Monday 12th April 2021 to Sunday 30th April 2021


To Facilitate:   Bridge Rehabilitation Works.


Roads Closed:

L-2201-0 in the townlands of Scarvy/Coolnalong Co. Monaghan


Division Route: –

Traffic wishing to proceed on the L-2200/L-2201 in the direction of Scarvy from the R212 will be diverted by remaining on the R-212 to Clones town, then turning right on to the R-183, then turning right on to the L-6240.


Traffic wishing to proceed on to the R-212 from the Townland of Scarvy will be diverted by turning right on to the L-6240, then turning left on to the R-183 to Clones town, then turning left on to the R-212.


All Detours will be signposted to direct the Traffic. (Local Access only, no through road).


If you have any queries concerning this Road Closure, please contact the Roads Section, Mtek 2, Knockaconny, Monaghan at 047 30597 or email roads@monaghancoco.ie.



Gareth McMahon

A/Senior Engineer

Roads and Transportation

8th April 2021




Expressions of Interest Sought

Operation of Bike Rental

Scheme in Inniskeen Village,

Co. Monaghan


Monaghan County Council is seeking Expressions of Interest from individuals or companies for the operation of a Bike Rental Scheme based in Inniskeen Village, Co. Monaghan.

It is the Council’s intention that the Bike Rental Scheme will enhance the tourism appeal of the locality. It is intended that a minimum of 15 bicycles shall be provided for under the scheme. The successful applicant must demonstrate strong financial vi-ability, including a solid business model indicating how the applicant will assist the Local Authority in enhancing the tourism appeal of Inniskeen Village and the Patrick Kavanagh Centre.

In your expression please include your name, contact details and a brief description of the proposed business model.

For the purposes of evaluation, persons expressing an interest before the below closing date, shall be invited to submit further detailed proposals at a later stage.

Expressions should be made in writing to the following address on or before the 22nd of April 2021 and be clearly marked “Inniskeen Village Bike Rental Scheme”.



Carrickmacross-Castleblayney Municipal District,

Riverside Road, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan.




Monaghan County Council Notices 1st April 2021




Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended)

Planning and Development Regulations 2001 (as amended)

Notice is hereby given pursuant to Article 81(1) of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 (as amended) by Monaghan County Council to develop a greenway from Monaghan Town’s Coolshannagh roundabout (N2 junction with N12) to Ardgonnell Bridge, located on the border with Northern Ireland near the N12.

The proposed greenway measures 7.3 kms in length and follows the route of the Ulster Canal as it proceeds alongside the N12 national primary road to Middletown, County Armagh. The proposed stretch of Greenway within Monaghan Town connects to the existing greenway near Coolshannagh roundabout and passes along the rear of Monaghan Institute on the N12 Armagh Road.

The proposed greenway passes through the following Townlands: An Tulaigh Thirim (Tullyhirm); Cnoc an Chonnaidh (Knockaconny); Droim Ruatach (Drumrutagh); Droim Achaidh Chruitin (Drumacruttan); An Chorr Bheag (Corbeg); Cruail (Crowey); Sceith na gCeann (Skinnagin); Táite an Teampaill (Templetate); Tulaigh Loiscthe (Tullylish); Táite Mhuileann an Ūcaire (Tuckmilltate); Coill Uí Néill (Killyneill); Coillidh Liaf (Killeef) and Tamlacht (Tamlat).

The proposed Greenway will consist of the following:

  • 5m corridor incorporating a pathway up to 3m wide with a drainage/buffer verge up to 1m on each side. The pathway will consist of an unbound, granular surface course of gravel and dust, with asphalt in certain locations such as road crossing points.
  • Stock proof timber fencing (1.2m tall) at each side of the greenway where appropriate, as well as chicane railings at road crossing points.
  • Four pedestrian timber footbridges for connectivity across the canal and watercourses.
  • Underpass guardrails at the following bridges: Drumrutagh Bridge; Crowey Bridge; Glebe Bridge and Pipers Bridge.
  • Information boards at the termination point in Monaghan Town, together with way-marking and advanced warning signage for users along the route where appropriate.
  • All necessary associated site works such as route clearance, tree felling where unavoidable, drainage improvements, road junction improvements for pedestrians (dropped kerbs, tactile paving), site levelling/re-grading works and cut and fill earthworks.

In addition to the above, and in accordance with the provisions of Article 81(2)(c) of the Planning & Development Regulations 2001, the proposed development comprises enhancements to protected structures, as well as similar features of architectural/historical heritage along the route of canal. These include bridges, locks and tracts of canal basin. Enhancements mainly consist of clearance of overgrown vegetation and re-pointing of brickwork. The protected structures are: Crowey East Lock (41101059); Crowey Bridge (41101060); Glebe Bridge (41101061); Tuckmiltate Lock (41101063); Leitrim Bridge (41101062); Pipers Bridge (41101058) and Ardgonnell Bridge (41401008).

In accordance with Article 81(ca) and 120(1B)(b)(i) of the above-mentioned regulations, Monaghan County Council, as the competent authority, has concluded from a Screening Determination, based on an examination of the nature, size and location of the proposed development, that there is no real likelihood of significant effects on the environment arising from the proposed development and as such has determined that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is not required. The details of this Screening Determination are available for inspection by the general public.

At any time before the expiration of 4 weeks from the date of publication of this notice, any person may apply to An Bord Pleanála for a screening determination as to whether the proposed development would be likely to have significant effects on the environment.

Plans and particulars of the proposed development will be available for inspection (or purchase at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy) during normal office hours from Thursday, 1st April 2021 until Thursday 29th April 2021 (inclusive) at the following locations:

Monaghan County Council, County Offices, No1 Dublin Street, Monaghan, H18 X982, and their website: https://monaghan.ie/planning/online-planning-tools/

Submissions or observations with respect to the proposed development, dealing with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area in which the development would be situated, and clearly marked ‘Part 8 – Cross Border Greenway from Monaghan Town to Middletown’, may be made in writing by post or email to the undersigned at Monaghan County Council, No1 Dublin street, Monaghan, H18 X982, before 5.00pm on Thursday 13th May 2021.

This project has been supported by the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

Dated this Thursday 1st April 2021.

Anthony Morrow, Project Manager, Ulster Canal Greenway, Monaghan County Council.              Email: amorrow@monaghancoco.ie




Temporary Closing of Roads – Emergency Closure

Monaghan County Council hereby gives notice of Emergency Closure in accordance with Section 75 of the Roads Act 1993 & Article 12 of the Roads Regulations 1994 that it will close the following road in the Municipal District of Ballybay-Clones in County Monaghan:


Date & Time:  Monday 12th April 2021 to Sunday 30th April 2021


To Facilitate:   Bridge Rehabilitation Works.


Roads Closed:

L-2200-0 in the townlands of Scarvy/Coolnalong Co. Monaghan


Division Route: –

Traffic wishing to proceed on the L-2200 in the direction of Scarvy from the R212 will be diverted by remaining on the R-212 to Clones town, then turning right on to the R-183, then turning right on to the L-6240.


Traffic wishing to proceed on to the R-212 from the Townland of Scarvy will be diverted by turning right on to the L-6240, then turning left on to the R-183 to Clones town, then turning left on to the R-212.


All Detours will be signposted to direct the Traffic. (Local Access only, no through road).


If you have any queries concerning this Road Closure, please contact the Roads Section, Mtek 2, Knockaconny, Monaghan at 047 30597 or email roads@monaghancoco.ie.



Gareth McMahon

A/Senior Engineer

Roads and Transportation

1st April 2021



Monaghan PPN Climate Conversation – Planning For Local Change

Monaghan Public Participation Network (PPN) in collaboration with Monaghan County Council Environment Section were delighted to be one of the PPN’s who recently held a Climate Conversation which is part of an initiative of the Dept. of Environment, Climate and Communications.

The conversations are happening across the country with the aim to give the community and voluntary sector an opportunity to engage in the development of the Climate Action Plan 2021 and the key local priorities for the Climate Action Fund. Monaghan PPN Climate Conversation was facilitated by PPN Environmental Representatives Candice Moen and Liam Murtagh of Transition Monaghan. A very diverse group of volunteers brought their local expertise and knowledge to highlight what needs to be done to make Climate Action happen in County Monaghan in areas such as food, shopping, transport, energy and buildings and biodiversity. They also shared their hopes and concerns for now and future generations.

Leona Keenan PPN Resource Manager stated “that the PPN is delighted to have been a part of this initiative because we are the “go to” vehicle when local and national governments want to consult with the community sector on a local or national policy or plan. It was evident during the workshop that there is a real appetite from our members to be taking on initiatives to deal with local climate action. The feedback from the workshop will be used to develop further PPN training and environmental themed events later in the year”.

Online Public Meeting to present the findings from the Castleblayney Market House & Market Square Public Engagement Report.

Online Public Meeting to present the findings from the Castleblayney Market House & Market Square Public Engagement Report.

Wednesday 7th April at 6.30pm

Please join us for an Online Public Meeting to see a presentation on the findings from the Castleblayney Market House & Market Square Public Engagement Report. We will briefly go through the key findings from the research and point to the next steps in the process.



Monaghan County Council buildings light up in green for Organ Donor Awareness Week 2021

Monaghan County Council is delighted to support an Irish Kidney Association led initiative by demonstrating solidarity in support of organ donation.

For the first time, demonstrating wide scale solidarity in support of organ donation, a large number of County and City Councils around the country have committed to lighting up public sites at night in the colour green.


Green is not just the national colour for Ireland, it is also the official international colour of organ and tissue donation, symbolising the hope organ donors provide to patients in need and their families.

Green is the colour of nature, associated with sustainability and renewal.  When days are dark and the future is uncertain, the green colour provides confidence and optimism.

Patients on the transplant list, live in hope, that organ donation will become available to them. This is also a dark time as their future is uncertain and they know some other family has to experience death for their lives to change.


By lighting up public sites in green we are drawing attention to organ donation, being an integral part of active citizenship and that we should have family discussion on our organ donor wishes.

From dusk to dawn over 30 locations nationwide will be lit up in green, undoubtedly prompting much discussion about organ donation.


While ensuring compliance with public health guidelines to prevent the spread of  COVID-19, we encourage visitors to take photographs of themselves outside the building.


You can share your photo and wishes on social media using  the hashtag #LifeIsAGift. Then tag three or more of your friends to do the same!


Here is a suggested post you could use:

Life Is A Gift, Pass It On! I’m saying yes to Organ Donation, and I’m asking @friend1 @friend2 & @friend3 to do the same! Freetext DONOR to 50050 to get your Organ Donor Card. #LifeIsAGift


Win a facemask

By using the one of the tags below, your social media post will be entered into a raffle to win one of 100 quality face masks.

#LifeIsAGift, #Donorweek21,

@irishkidneyAs on Twitter

@irishkidneyA on Instagram,

@Irishkidneyassociation on Facebook


More details can be found at http://ika.ie/donorweek2021 where a range of posters and school educational tool kits can be downloaded or simply scan the QR code below.


Individuals who wish to support organ donation are encouraged to keep the reminders of their decision available by carrying the organ donor card, permitting Code 115 to be included on their driver’s licence and having the ‘digital organ donor card’ APP on their smartphone. Organ Donor Cards can be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01 6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050. You can also visit the website www.ika.ie/get-a-donor-card or download a free ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to your phone.  

Our Rural Future: Government’s blueprint to transform rural Ireland

Our Rural Future: Government’s blueprint to transform rural Ireland

  • Unprecedented opportunity for Rural Development post COVID-19


  • Major focus on attracting Remote Workers to rural communities


  • Revitalising town centres, rural jobs, adventure tourism, green economy and island development central to new policy


  • Broadband roll-out to bring new opportunities in areas like eHealth, remote learning, online trading and new technologies


  • Five-year strategy will be underpinned by updated National Development Plan


The Government has today published Our Rural Future, the most ambitious and transformational policy for rural development in decades.

The policy reflects the unprecedented change in living and working patterns during COVID-19 and the significant opportunities this presents for rural communities – from remote working and revitalising our town centres to job creation, developing a green economy and enhancing our outdoor amenities.

The five year strategy was launched in Croke Park by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin, An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, and Minister for Transport and the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan.

Our Rural Future sets out a blueprint for the development of rural Ireland over the next five years.

It is supported by 150 commitments across Government, which will address the challenges facing communities and deliver new opportunities for people living in rural areas.

The policy will help rural Ireland to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, enable long-term development of rural areas, and create more resilient rural economies and communities for the future.

Speaking at the launch of the policy, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin said:

“Ireland is heading into an era of unprecedented change, and with that comes unprecedented opportunity.

“Over the course of the pandemic, we have discovered new ways of working and we have rediscovered our communities.

“The policy we launch today, Our Rural Future, provides a framework for the development of rural areas over the next five years.

“The policy is forward-looking and ambitious and addresses both the challenges facing rural areas and the opportunities which rural economies and communities can capitalise on.

“The Government’s vision is for a rural Ireland which is integral to our national economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing and development.

“That vision is built on the talent, skills and creativity of people in rural communities; on the importance of vibrant and lived-in rural places; and on the potential to create quality jobs and sustain our shared environment.

“Rural Ireland will play a central role in our recovery from the impact of COVID-19.

“The commitments outlined today will benefit individuals, families, communities and businesses. It will enhance the wellbeing and quality of life of people living in rural areas.

“It will build resilient and sustainable rural communities and economies through investment, supports and services. And it will ensure that rural communities are at the heart of designing and delivering responses that meet local needs.”

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys said:

“Our Rural Future represents a new milestone in the approach to rural development for Ireland.

“As we recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a unique opportunity to reimagine rural Ireland and harness the talent, skills and creativity running through our rural communities.

“For decades we have seen global trends where young people leave their local communities to live and work in larger cities. As we emerge from COVID-19 we will never have a better opportunity to reverse that long-standing trend.

“The move to remote working, underpinned by the rollout of the National Broadband Plan, has the potential to transform Rural Ireland like never before.

“It will allow people to work from their own local communities, revitalise our town centres, reduce commuting times, lower transport emissions and most importantly – improve the quality of life of our people.”

An Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar said:

“We want to have more people working in all parts of Ireland, with good quality jobs on offer and good career prospects. The COVID-19 pandemic has already shown us what’s possible in terms of remote working and flexible working. Our Rural Future is one of the ways that the Government is making that a permanent option.

“Our Rural Future will help the tourism and hospitality sectors to recover after the pandemic, create jobs in the Green Economy and the Agri-food sector, and make it easier to set up and grow a business in Rural Ireland.

“It means more people will be able to live in their communities, or move to new ones, with the option of good quality employment. It will mean less commuting, and more vibrant communities as people have more time to spend with their families, their neighbours, and local clubs and organisations.

“Broadband and new technologies are key to making this happen. That work has already started. I am proud to have been part of the Government that kicked off the National Broadband Plan – the biggest investment in rural Ireland since electrification. And I’m equally proud to be part of the Government that is now making it happen.”

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications and Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan stated:

“Now is the time to be ambitious for rural Ireland. The governments investment in climate action will bring new job opportunities to rural communities, in areas such as renewable energy, retrofitting and sustainable farming and tourism. The National Broadband Plan will act as a key enabler for the development of new businesses in regional and rural Ireland, together with an increased opportunity for people to work from home. Through the Just Transition Fund, Government is supporting the retraining and reskilling of rural workers and assisting local communities and businesses to adjust to the low carbon transition.

“We want to put the development and regeneration of our rural towns and villages at the heart of decision making, so that they are vibrant centres where people can live, work and socialise, with walking, cycling and public transport options connecting people and places. The Government will continue to support this active mobility through the National Transport Authority, with €72m in funding being allocated in 2021 for high quality cycling and walking infrastructure for our more rural towns and villages across the country. Through the implementation of Our Rural Future, Government will seize this unprecedented opportunity for rural Ireland.”

Our Rural Future, Ireland’s Rural Development Policy 2021-2025 is available here.

Interagency Easter Covid-19 Appeal from the HSE Department of Public Health North East, An Garda Síochána, Cavan, Monaghan, Louth, and Meath County Councils

Interagency Easter Covid-19 Appeal from the HSE Department of Public Health North East, An Garda Síochána, Cavan, Monaghan, Louth, and Meath County Councils

The HSE’s Department of Public Health North East, Louth, Cavan, Monaghan, Meath County Councils and An Garda Síochána are appealing to the public to stay home and stay safe this Easter.


As Easter approaches and the anticipation of a break from routine looms there is the potential to drop our guard. Today the HSE, An Garda Síochána and local authorities in the North East are reminding the public that Covid-19 does not take a holiday and we must remain alert to the dangers it poses to our families and communities. Together each agency is calling on the public to limit their contacts this Easter to stop the spread of COVID-19.


An Garda Síochána will continue its high visibility checkpoints and patrols at public amenities, parks and beauty spots across the country and encourages the public to plan your activities to ensure you exercise within your 5km.


An Garda Síochána continues to find groups gathering (house parties, social gatherings are not just breaches of regulations, but create a real risk for those attending and everyone they come into contact with afterwards including loved ones, neighbours, colleagues and their local community.


Assistant Commissioner Barry O’Brien of the North Western Region of An Garda Síochána said, “An Garda Síochána is appealing to the public over the Easter period to continue to follow the public health guidelines by staying home and staying safe. Covid-19 remains a public health concern and we as individuals have the power to protect ourselves and our communities.


“The vast majority of people are complying with the public health regulations but now is not the time to let your guard down. We must keep it up. We know this has been incredibly difficult and has involved significant sacrifices, but by continuing to follow the guidance you help save lives and protect those on the front-line.


“The best way of keeping safe is to stay home. If you are going out, please only undertake necessary journeys and exercise within 5km of your home. Limit your contacts, always maintain social distancing, wear a facemask and ensure you are practicing regular hand washing.”


“An Garda Síochána’s high visibility checkpoints continue throughout the region and patrols at local amenity sites will continue throughout the Easter period under Operation Fanacht. This proactive policing is being conducted in support of the public health measures to save lives and to protect our communities. Community engagement patrols continue. An Garda Síochána is here to help and Gardaí continue to engage with the most vulnerable in society to provide them with the necessary supports. Should you or someone you know require assistance don’t hesitate in contacting your local Garda station or in an emergency dial 999 or 112,” Assistant Commissioner O’ Brien concluded.

Dr Augustine Pereira, Director of Public Health, HSE North East, commented:

“During the past week, we have seen a 20% increase in the number of COVID-19 cases reported to the Department of Public Health in the North East. It is vital therefore, as we approach Easter, that everyone plays their part to protect themselves, their families, friends, neighbours and communities. This Easter is unfortunately not a time we can take a break from our hard work, rather, pay more attention by continuing to stay at home and adhere to public health guidelines to suppress transmission of COVID-19.”


“We acknowledge people are getting tired of COVID-19, but unfortunately this virus does not get tired and it continues to infect people when we drop our guard. We are seeing evidence of this across all ages and in a range of settings, including household visits among neighbours, social gatherings, funerals, not using appropriate PPE and distancing in some workplaces. We are seeing avoidable social interactions leading to larger outbreaks across multiple settings.”


“Attending gatherings of any size increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 and is against the current government guidelines. Everyone must take personal responsibility to avoid situations that are a risk to themselves, their family, friends and colleagues.”


“Our individual actions matter and we need to adhere to public health guidelines, to keep our schools open, resume non-COVID healthcare and protect our communities. Together, we have achieved so much. Now it is up to each of us to keep up the great work,” he added.


Chief Executive of Louth County Council Joan Martin said, “I would like to thank the people of Louth who have sacrificed much over the last year to keep friends and family safe during this very trying time.  Many families have lost loved ones and our hearts are filled with sadness for those who passed, for those who mourn, and for those who are still suffering due to Covid.

“Louth, like other counties, saw huge rates of transmission, and it was only through the concerted efforts of every resident in Louth that we saw those numbers gradually decrease.

“I know that everyone is fatigued and we are all missing each other and we yearn to get together.  But, we are not there yet.

“Easter is traditionally a time for families but it is also a symbol of resurrection and renewal, and I firmly believe if we can just hold on a while longer and limit our contacts, there will come a time when families can be safely back together,” she said.


Chief Executive of Monaghan County Council, Eamonn O’Sullivan praised the work of communities, but reminded of the need to be vigilant in the coming weeks.

“We have seen over the past few months how the sacrifices you are making are helping drive case numbers down, but we are not there yet.  We would urge you to follow public health advice and adhere to government guidelines.  I would ask the people of Monaghan to continue to stay at home to help stop community transmission of COVID-19.  If anyone needs assistance, practical support or someone to talk to, please remember that help is available, you can call the Monaghan COVID-19 Community Helpline free on 1800 804 158 or email covidsupport@monaghancoco.ie for assistance,” he said.

Chief Executive of Cavan County Council, Mr Tommy Ryan, hailed the extraordinary community effort to bring the county’s transmission levels down in recent weeks and urged continued vigilance over the Easter period.


“Cavan people have worked incredibly hard to bring this virus under control in their locality. It has been a very difficult year and everyone is understandably feeling the strain, but I think we can all take great heart in the knowledge that our sacrifices are saving lives. I ask the people of Cavan to maintain their solidarity and their determination to continue to protect our most vulnerable citizens and our health service while the vaccine rollout continues. There is light at the end of tunnel and, together, we will overcome this crisis.

“For those that need assistance with essentials such as transport or food deliveries, or even just a friendly, sympathetic ear, please remember the Cavan Community Call Helpline is there for you. Call freephone 1800 300 404 or email covidsupport@cavancoco.ie,” said Mr Ryan.


Chief Executive of Meath County Council, Jackie Maguire added “I want to thank everyone for playing their part in tackling the spread of the virus.  The disease however is still in our communities and Meath is very much in the frontline. Every one of us knows loved ones, friends or neighbours who could be very severely affected if exposed to the virus and this underlines why we all need to do our bit to protect those most at risk. While there is a general Covid fatigue, there is no room for complacency. We all need to keep up the great effort shown to date throughout Meath in the weeks ahead. Our behaviours are central to the solution and this includes what we do and how we do it in our daily lives”.