What’s happening in my country


This page contains specific information about the planning and implementation of smart villages in Ireland. The information aims to orient people on policy planning, key contacts and resources on smart villages. However, it neither aims to be fully comprehensive, nor necessarily reflects the official government or European Commission position.

Explore how smart villages are being implemented in Ireland.

You can also visit the page of the Smart Rural 21 selected village: Dingle / Daingean Uí Chúis

Key CAP contact(s) :

Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD)
Key contact(s) :
John Gorman (Regional Telecommunications Development Unit (DRCD))
Email : john.gorman@drcd.gov.ie
Dympna Harney (Assistant Principal Officer - LEADER Policy and Operations Unit)
Email : dympna.harney@drcd.gov.ie
Website : https://www.gov.ie/en/organisation/department-of-rural-and-community-development/

Support for Smart Villages under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

  • Ireland’s CAP post-2020 Consultative Committee provides a forum to allow stakeholders express their views and remain updated as the CAP reform discussions progress. Representatives from Ireland’s Department for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) and the Irish National Rural Network are members of this committee.
  • As part of Ireland’s ongoing CAP post 2020 stakeholder consultation process, the Department for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) had an open call for submissions to assist in the development of a comprehensive SWOT analysis of the sector from the 9th of September 2019 to the 11th of October 2019.
  • The Managing Authority for the LEADER Programme in Ireland, the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD), believe that LEADER is well positioned to become the key policy ingredient and catalyst towards the ‘smart’ revolution of rural towns and villages in Ireland, particularly through its community-led approach to rural development. The three core themes of the Irish LEADER Programme (i.e. (i) Economic Development, Enterprise Development and Job Creation, (ii) Social Inclusion & (iii) Rural Environment) are particularly relevant for the successful realisation of Smart Villages.
  • The national seminar entitled ‘Smart Villages and Rural Towns in Ireland: Revitalising Rural Areas through Community-Led Innovation’ (2019) aimed to build greater knowledge around the Smart Villages initiative, and demonstrate how it can be planned, implemented and realised in an Irish context.

Further information on CAP & smart villages :

Smart Villages in CAP Strategic plan Ireland ( 30/04/2024 ) - E40 (Language : English)
Smart Rural 27 Taskforce in Ireland ( 18/03/2024 ) - Pat Kennedy (Language : English)
Smart Village Curriculum Ireland ( 29/02/2024 ) - Pat Kennedy eTownz (Language : English)
Smart Villages Support in Ireland ( 07/10/2022 ) - E40 (Language : English)

Key NRN contact(s) :

Irish National Rural Network
Key contact(s) :
Dr Shane Conway (Researcher)
Email : shane.conway@nuigalway.ie
Website : https://www.nationalruralnetwork.ie/

Activities of the National Rural Network (NRN) on smart villages

  • The Irish National Rural Network (NRN) team at National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway is leading the NRN’s work on the Smart Village initiative.
  • The Irish NRN continually communicates to its members through its monthly e-bulletins and quarterly newsletters and social media accounts about Smart Villages and Smart Rural Towns. Among others, the NRN advocates that the LEADER Programme is well positioned to forge a strong relationship with the Smart Villages initiative.
  • The Irish NRN actively participated in the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) Thematic Group (TG) on Smart Villages and promoted information nationally from the ENRD’s Smart Villages Portal.
  • The Irish NRN was the co-organiser of the ‘Smart Villages and Rural Towns in Ireland: Revitalising Rural Areas through Community-Led Innovation’ National Seminar.

Support provided through other national/ regional policies & initiatives

Ireland’s Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment (DCCAE) and Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) launched Ireland’s first ‘Smart Community’ initiative in January 2019. This innovative initiative is a new approach that aims to bring exposure to digital content and technology in rural communities, and also to support rural dwellers in discovering the value of using digital in their daily lives. Tubbercurry & South Sligo located in the west of Ireland have been chosen to test the feasibility of this initiative. The Smart Community initiative has the potential, in combination with local authority Digital Strategies and the LEADER Programme’s community-led approach to rural development, to deliver enhanced demand stimulation for uptake of High-Speed Broadband services in rural communities.

Key organisations & contacts

The KLP is a non-profit, independent, community- led, local development organisation, with approximately 25 years of experience delivering to communities on the ground, providing a wide range of services including training, work placements, grants and advice.

Key activities :

KLP leads a group of local development companies in developing a smart village curriculum and follow on training programme.

.IE Digital Town has been developed to foster digital enhancement and adoption in Ireland; help businesses, citizens and communities harness the benefits of the internet and to thrive online; support remote working, tackling the digital divide; decentralisation and rural development; encourage sustainability through an enhanced digital economy; advocate for a strong internet ecosystem to enable a better Ireland online.

Key contact(s) :

William William Walsh (CEO)
Email : info@seai.ie

SEAI is Ireland’s national sustainable energy authority. They work with householders, businesses, communities and government to create a cleaner energy future

Key contact(s) :

Gabriel O'Connell (Member of the ILDN Rural Development Sub-group and CEO of Monaghan Integrated Development CLG)
Email : info@ildn.ie

The ILDN is the representative body for the 35 Local Development Companies throughout Ireland who deliver RDP LEADER, Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme, Rural Social Scheme, Rural Recreation Programmes, Local Employment Service, environmental and many other programmes.

Key activities :
  • Representatives from the ILDN have actively been participating in a European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) Thematic Group (TG) on Smart Villages since September 2017.
  • The ILDN have formulated a comprehensive response to ENRD’s proposals on Smart Villages, advocating for the benefits of the LEADER/CLLD approach in harnessing its opportunities
  • The ILDN is member of the European Smart Village Network.

Key contact(s) :

Tracy Keogh (Co-founder of Grow Remote)
Email : hello@growremote.ie

The Grow Remote organisation is championing the spread of remote working in Ireland, particularly within rural communities.

Key activities :

Grow Remote held a conference in Ireland’s first Smart Community, Tubbercurry & South Sligo on the 16th of April 2019.  This one-day conference, featuring 15 speakers from across Europe and American, discussed the opportunities that exist for remote working in Ireland and the benefits it can bring to employees, employers and local communities. The event was supported by Sligo County Council, the Western Development Commission, Bank of Ireland, Blacknight, ICBE, Smart Community Tubbercurry & South Sligo and An Chroi South Sligo Enterprise Centre.

Further key resources

Poster summary for the Smart Rural 27 Taskforce in Ireland
Pat Kennedy ( 18/03/2024 )
Poster summary and presentation on taskforce activities in    Ireland . The presentation on the poster was given at the Smart Rural 27 project’s Final Conference of 18-19 March 2024, in Brussels, Belgium.
Language : English

How can LEADER LAGs support the emergence of Smart Villages?
Ryan Howard - SECAD ( 28/11/2023 )
A presentation illustrating how LEADER can stimulate Smart Villages, with a specific focus on the SECAD Partnership, was provided during the 2nd European Smart Villages Pilot Observatory meeting in Prague, Czechia held on 27-28th of November 2023.
Language : English

How to co-design e-services with rural communities
Lutz Kubitschke - empirica ( 17/10/2022 )
A presentation on lessons learned from the Smart Rural 21 expert support provided to three of the project’s villages: Dingle (Ireland); Penela (Portugal); and Sollstedt (Germany). The presentation was given in the workshop “When is digital technology becoming a ‘game-changer’ in improving local services?” at the Smart Rural 21 project’s Final Conference of 17-18 October 2022 in Sopot, Poland.
Language : English

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council ( 2021 )
An article and a short film about DunLaoghaireTown.ie announced as the category winner of Urban Towns at the .IE Digital Town Awards 2021.
Language : English

Dingle / Daingean Uí Chúi
An initiative for a more environmentally and economically sustainable future on the Dingle Peninsula. The goal is to transition the peninsula into a low-carbon society. This is important for the health of the planet, and to plan for future environmental changes and regulations. By reducing energy demands and using local renewable resources, the initiative could save the peninsula as much as € 8 million.
Language : English

ESB Networks Dingle Project
Dingle / Daingean Uí Chúi ( 2019 )
A short film about Dingle’s ESB Networks project. In its famework, five local ambassadors were selected to explore energy efficiency measures on the journey towards a low-carbon future. Each ambassador received a range of low-carbon technologies, including an Electric Vehicle Chargepoint, Air Source Heat Pump, Rooftop Solar PV, Controllable Immersion, Smart Circuit Breaker, Smart Meter, Battery Storage System and a Smart Living Gateway (IoT Hub in Home). Each ambassador is exploring these new technologies and sharing their experiences with the wider Dingle community and in doing so help inform as to how customers use and engage with new low-carbon and smart grid technologies and the impacts on the distribution system
Language : English

Interview about the Drumbane / Upperchurch Energy Project
Drombane Upperchurch Energy Team (DUET) ( 2012 – Ongoing )
This village is probably one of the earliest and most enthusiastic adopters of community energy. Major work has been done in past in retrofit and the area is well-advanced in creating a community-owned wind farm.  The aim was to reduce the amount of money leaving the local economy in the form of energy and fuel bills every year.
Language : English

Projects funded under the Digital Innovation Programme 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development ( 19/08/2021 – Ongoing )
The Digital Innovation Programme is designed to encourage local authority-led projects that support digital development. These projects must promote, support, or otherwise advance at least one of the seven pillars of digital maturity:
  • Digital Skills;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship;
  • Digital Economy & Employment;
  • Digital Services;
  • Community & Culture;
  • Digital Transition

Language : English

Community-oriented village websites & apps
Pat Kennedy - eTownz ( 23/02/2021 )
A presentation provided at the 2nd Smart Village Academy of the Smart Rural 21 project during the “Website and community platforms for community engagement” working group, with the aim to help communities with preparing a basic website/ community platform and communication plan.
Language : English

Smart Village Strategy of Dingle / Daingean Uí Chúis
( 06/2020 )
The Smart Village Strategy of Dingle / Daingean Uí Chúis has been developed in the context of the ‘Preparatory Action for Smart Rural Areas in the 21st Century’ project funded by the European Commission.

‘My Town My Plan’
Ryan Howard - SECAD ( 27/10/2020 )
Presentation at the 1st Smart Village Academy of the Smart Rural 21 project about the ‘My Town My Plan’ community training programme (2019-2020) ran by SECAD (Ireland). The objective of the programme was to provide training in future planning and the innovative development of a cohesive vision for towns and their hinterland.
Language : English

Smart Islands in Scotland and Ireland: Supporting Enterprises and Young People
CoDeL ( 01/09/2019 – Ongoing )
This LEADER transnational project brings together island communities in Ireland (off the coast of Co. Donegal, Mayo, Galway and West Cork) and Scotland (especially Uist in the Outer Hebrides) to share and develop experiences and methodologies that can make their islands smart, dynamic and sustainable. It focusses on the critical role of young people returning, settling or staying on island communities, and the contribution they can make to reviving these remote communities. More specifically, the Smart Islands in Scotland and Ireland initiative: 1) Supports young people in contributing to local development in their island communities through community initiatives and/or enterprise 2) Shares knowledge and experience of innovation to enable island communities across Scotland and Ireland to learn from each other, about innovative and effective strategies for community development, not least around attracting and supporting young people.
Language : English

Innovating Communities
Monaghan Integrated Development CLG ( 17/02/2021 – Ongoing )
Innovating Communities is a two-year training project delivering innovative and creative training modules within the border region of Ireland (Co, Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth) using design thinking. The project, funded under the LEADER Cooperation element of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, aims to meet current challenges facing rural areasthrough the development of new ways of thinking at local level in order to meet future opportunities and cope with challenges, as well as helping to involve community members in local decision making. A total of 105 training modules will be delivered to a range of local stakeholders at community level across the region in the areas of biodiversity, climate action, connectivity / broadband, smart villages and social enterprise.
Language : English

Comprehensive response to ENRD’s proposals on Smart Villages
Gabriel O'Connell - Irish Local Development Network (ILDN) ( 04/07/2019 )
Presentation provided at the ‘Smart Villages and Rural Towns in Ireland: Revitalising Rural Areas through Community-Led Innovation’ National Seminar
Language : English

Smart Towns and Villages National Conference
Leitrim County Council ( 22/10/2018 )
A national conference on Smart Villages took place in Lough Rynn Castle, Mohill, Co. Leitrim in the west of Ireland. Leitrim County Council hosted this conference to highlight the issues, opportunities and progress achieved to date in developing the Smart Villages concept following the adoption by the Committee of the Regions of their paper on Revitalisation of Rural areas through Smart Towns/Villages, and an ongoing process in Leitrim of Town regeneration. Speakers highlighted how national policy such as the National Planning Framework and Project 2040 link to the smart villages concept and national policies are focused on building synergies between them which makes collaboration between different bodies important to achieve synergistic benefits. At a more local level, the conference also provided Leitrim with the opportunity to showcase how it is working to advance and apply the concept locally.
Language : English

Smart Coastal Areas: Resourcefulness and Innovation in FLAG Communities
FARNET ( 02/04/2019 – 04/04/2019 )
FARNET’s 8th transnational seminar took place from 2-4 April 2019 in Bantry, Ireland. The seminar was an opportunity for FLAG managers to explore ways in which their FLAG areas can become ‘smarter’ by doing things differently and investing in imaginative ideas to tackle existing challenges. It was also be a chance to reflect on how to work towards smarter strategies for the future. This seminar was organised at the initiative of the European Commission with the support of FLAG South, Ireland’s Sea Food Development Agency – BIM (Bord Iascaigh Mhara) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine of the Republic of Ireland.
Language : English

Smart Eco-Social Villages Project Case Study – Killorglin, Co. Kerry
Noel Spillane - South Kerry Development Partnership (SKDP) CLG , Ecorys ( 01/04/2017 – 01/04/2019 )
Killorglin in Co. Kerry was selected as a case study in the Smart Eco-Social Villages pilot project carried out by a consortium consisting of Ecorys, Origin for Sustainability and R.E.D. under the responsibility of the European Commission (DG-AGRI). The purpose of the project was to observe Smart Village activity to define the concept of Smart Village. The project mapped the current challenges and potential in 15 different rural towns and villages throughout Europe. Killorglin’s case study was based on their engagement with the community and the development of their local socio-economic plan. It is hoped that he outputs from this project will help inform future EU Rural Development Policy.
Language : English

Smart Rural – Empowering the Rural Community to use Mobile Technology
Catherine Murphy - Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) ( 01/09/2015 – 31/08/2018 )
Innovative European Funded Erasmus + research project called ‘SmartRural’ with three other partners from Austria, France and Spain. The project looked at how ICT and mobile applications can be used to enhance agricultural activities as well as improving productivity, social and economic activities in rural communities. The project suggested the creation of an ad hoc training methodology based on the famers’s needs, offering them basic and specific knowledge on mobile applications. The project concluded with a conference entitled ‘The Future of Technology on the Farm’.  
Language : English

‘Smart Villages and Rural Towns in Ireland – Revitalising Rural Communities through Social and Digital Innovation’ Case Study
Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) , Irish National Rural Network ( 09/04/2019 )
An informative case study on Smart Village concept’s relationship with the LEADER Programme 2014-2020, as well as its close ties to Ireland’s ‘Smart Community’ initiative was produced.
Language : English

Grow Remote Conference
Grow Remote , Smart Community Tubbercurry & South Sligo ( 16/04/2019 )
Tubbercurry & South Sligo hosted a Grow Remote Conference on the 16th of April 2019. The Grow Remote organisation is championing the spread of remote working in Ireland, particularly within rural communities.
Language : English

Smart Community – Tubbercurry & South Sligo
Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) ( 18/01/2019 )
Tubbercurry & South Sligo located in the west of Ireland have been selected as first rural area in Ireland to test the feasibility of the ‘Smart Community’ initiative, as the community already provides a self-service access to its local library using innovative technology from 8am to 10pm; 7 days a week; 365 days a year.
Language : English

Funded by