Rural Development (LEADER) Programme is OPEN for Projects

South Kerry Development Partnership CLG is delighted to announce that they have opened the Rural Development (LEADER) Programme 2014-2020 for submission of projects under ALL Sub-Themes:

These are: Rural Tourism; Enterprise Development; Rural Towns; Broadband; Basic Services (Hard to reach Communities); Rural Youth, Protection & Sustainable use of Water Resources; Protection & Improvement of Local Biodiversity; Development of Renewable Energy

Potential project promoters are required to first submit an Expression of Interest Form to ensure the project is eligible under the programme.

To download an EOI Form and for full details of the programme please click on the following links:

Expression of Interest Form

Appendix 4 Strategy Actions

Evaluation Scoring Record

Guidance Document – October 2017


Kerry Social Farming Evaluation Report Launched

Social Farming Works – this is one of the key findings of an Evaluation Report on Social Farming in Kerry, launched by Minister Michael Creed last week. The report, which was prepared by Dr Brendan O’Keeffe (Mary Immaculate College), Dr Caroline Crowley (Crowley Research) and Dr Shane O’Sullivan (Limerick Institute of Technology), was commissioned by the Kerry Social Farming (KSF) Working Group in 2016, under the umbrella of lead partner South Kerry Development Partnership CLG (SKDP). The commissioning of this Project Review formed part of a Social Farming Model Project developed by KSF/SKDP and is being funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), via the Commission for Economic Development of Rural Areas (CEDRA). The authors undertook a detailed independent review of the Social Farming initiative in Kerry to access its impact as well as to examine ways in which the project can be developed and enhanced.

A huge crowd turned out for the launch of the report on what was a fantastic day at George Kelly’s  ‘Hazelfort’ Farm, at Ballymalis in Beaufort, Co. Kerry, where visitors got the chance to go on a tour of the farm to meet with participants, host farmers families, and a multitude of stakeholders involved in the social farming initiative.

There are currently over 20 participants and twelve host farms engaged with the KSF Project, which is administered by SKDP. The current project has also seen the appointment of a full time co-ordinator, Irene Kavanagh, to oversee the project, and the numbers of farmers and participants are expected to increase in the coming months. Each of the participants visit their host farm at least once a week, where they undertake a variety of tasks with the host farmer around the farm, from feeding the animals to minor repairs to undertaking a variety of engaging farm activities and projects.

Outlining the findings of the report, Dr Brendan O’Keeffe stated that the Social Farming initiative, which first began in South Kerry in 2013, has yielded multiple dividends for all involved. “The model adopted in Kerry works particularly well because it has been tailored and adapted for local conditions” Dr O’Keeffe noted, adding that the openness of host families, the bottom up approach adopted by SKDP, the funding now being provided by the DAFM and the person centred approach are among the key factors leading to its success. Among the recommendations contained in the report was the need to enhance the input of the participants in the project, to expand training opportunities for both participants and host farmers, to secure additional sustainable funding for social farming, to maintain the locally-led structure, and to remove the bottleneck in relation to the insufficient numbers of support workers required to assist participants on the farms. In relation to the recommendations Dr O’Keeffe said that the report’s authors strongly contend there are no excuses and no reasons as to why these recommendations cannot be implemented.

In welcoming the report, SKDP Chairperson Gloria O’Driscoll also highlighted the input of the other  agencies involved in KSF such as St. John of God Kerry Services,  Kerry Parents and Friends Association, North East West Kerry Development, Enable Ireland, Down Syndrome Kerry, Cunamh Iveragh, Local Link Kerry, the HSE and Kerry County Council.  “This report has provided us with clear recommendations which we hope we will be enabled to implement in the future to ensure the continued success of the project”, Gloria said, adding that one of the most vital elements is to ensure that funding is made available on a long term, sustainable basis to enable the project achieve its full potential.

In his address to the gathering, Chairman of CEDRA and recently appointed Ambassador for Realising our Rural Potential, Pat Spillane said that he was passionate about rural Ireland, and that the KSF initiative encapsulates everything that is good about rural Ireland. He said that KSF shows what can be achieved by everyone working together and that everyone in rural Ireland needs to work together and to be proactive rather than reactive. He said rural Ireland had been neglected for too long and it was time all Government Departments worked together to support the vibrant communities that still exist in rural Ireland, but who need help and support to survive. Pat Spillane also provided the foreword for the report, and in it he re-stated his call for greater investment in local development companies – such as SKDP, which he noted are the ideal vehicle for the delivery of social farming and other similar initiatives. He added that it was time rural Ireland was treated the same way as urban areas.

MEP Seán Kelly praised the host farmers involved in the project and pointed to the element of volunteerism as being vital to the project.

In his address, Minister Creed said it was a humbling experience to meet with the participants in the KSF initiative, and he was very pleased to see that it works.  “Inclusion isn’t just a word, its actions” Minister Creed said and he praised the fantastic collaboration that existed between all the groups involved in social farming in Kerry. He said the report findings and recommendations will be of benefit to all, highlighting how the initiative can be improved and developed, and to inform what broad lessons can be transferred to other areas of the country. Minister Creed said he was delighted to be in South Kerry to launch the report and the words he heard from all the participants, and those involved with the social farming initiative in the county, will echo with him.

A number of host farmers, participants and guardians also addressed the gathering, and all expressed their delight with being involved with the social farming initiative and highlighted the significant benefits they got from this involvement. All expressed the desire to continue with the programme and to help expand it where possible to involve more participants and host farmers. The event was also attended by groups from other parts to the country who have similar social farming initiatives or who are interested in developing such an initiative.

Social farming is where family farms offer social, health or training supports to a small number of people with particular needs in a supervised programme of farming-related activities. In Kerry Social Farming, people with intellectual disabilities or acquired brain injuries attend farms of all sizes involved in market gardening, dairying, sheep and beef production.

To Download the Complete Report please click Kerry Social Farming Evaluation Report 2017


Expressions of Interest Sought – Community Services Programme

South Kerry Development Partnership CLG invites organisations in its geographic area of coverage to express an interest in a new round of funding under the Community Services Programme (CSP).

 The CSP is operated by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) to support legally incorporated community organisations to provide local social, economic and environmental services through the application of a social enterprise model of delivery.

 This programme may suit if your organisation is:

  • A Company limited by Guarantee or a Co-operative
  • Able to show clear evidence that a service meets a community need and are providing employment opportunities for those most distant from the labour market.
  • Generating trade income as a social enterprise with at least one set of audited accounts

 Under this Expression of Interest call, SKDP is inviting groups to submit EOI’s.   Following an assessment process of the EOIs submitted,  SKDP will  nominate one applicant organisation per its geographic area of coverage to Pobal , to be considered for CSP funding. As the additional funding by Pobal for this targeted call is limited, it will not be possible for all applicant organisations to progress on to CSP funding at this stage.  Once all EOIs are received by Pobal they will be assessed and the successful social enterprises will be invited to work with Pobal, who deliver the Programme on behalf of the Department, to establish their suitability for CSP.

To apply for consideration an Expression of Interest Form (EOI) must be submitted in hard copy format to SKDP  by 5pm Monday 26th June 2017.  Hardcopy Expression Of Interest Forms should be submitted to Mr. Noel Spillane, CEO, South Kerry Development Partnership CLG, West Main Street, Cahersiveen by this date.

Further information is available on the SKDP website including

  • CSP Guidance Document
  • of Social Protection Press Release
  • Expression of Interest Form

If you have any queries, please contact Noel Spillane SKDP on [email protected]


CSP EOI Form 2017            SKDP Invitation for EOI’S under CSP 

CSP EOI 2017 Guidance Document                 DSP-Press-release


“Hear Us Now” Documentary Launched

A new documentary entitled “Hear Us Now” featuring the stories of young adults with intellectual disabilities leading normal lives received its first showing in Killarney recently. The documentary, featuring participants involved in programmes with both Kerry Parents & Friends and St. John Of God Kerry Services, gives viewers an insight into the daily lives of the participants as well as highlighting the challenges they and their families face.

The message the documentary is aiming to communicate is that people with intellectual disabilities are important and should be listened to. It also aims to raise awareness and generate support from the wider community on real social inclusion.

The documentary was made with support from SKDP through the SCIAP programme and Kerry ETB.

To view the documentary on YouTube please click on the link: