Rural Social Scheme (RSS)

Brief history of RSS

The scheme was initiated by the Minister for Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs and launched in May 2004. The main aims of the scheme were to provide income support to low income farm families who are currently in receipt of long term social welfare payments and provide certain beneficial services to local community groups. Longford Community Resources Ltd. was allocated the implementation of the scheme in Longford. An RSS Coordinator was appointed in Longford in October 2004 and in January 2005 the first participants started. In 2010 Longford has 55 participants working in 38 various work locations.

RSS Workers Ballinalee
(More Photos in Gallery)


RSS today

Under the Rural Social Scheme, LCRL employs fifty five people plus two Supervisors and one Co-ordinator. It is a programme to support low income small farmers (who have a herd number and are in receipt of Farm Assist) to increase their viability by harnessing their skills and expertise for the benefit of the local community. Approximately 27 groups in 38 areas are supported across the County on work such as village enhancement, supervising and caretaking of community halls, cemetery maintenance, countryside environmental maintenance including developing and upgrading walks, furniture recycling, a pilot helpline for older people (Friendly Call Service), collection and delivery of medical prescriptions for older people, etc.

Essential services are provided to the community by participants of the scheme who work 19.5 hours per week locally in the community on a farmer friendly schedule. Some of the valuable work currently being carried out on the RSS Projects includes:

  • Village and countryside enhancement projects;
  • Maintenance of local community projects e.g. provision of caretaking and maintenance of local community halls and sporting facilities including opening the facilities for weekly usage by the public;
  • Organisation and establishment of local community activities and support to local groups to ensure that important local community activities can occur;
  • Social care and care for the older people;
  • Community environmental projects, e.g. community composting facilities;
  • Projects related to non-profit cultural and heritage centres;
  • Provision and installation of security systems in homes of older people in the area in conjunction with the Department of Social Protection;
  • Maintenance and enhancement of waymarked way, agreed walks and bog roads;
  • Energy conservation work for older people and those less well off;
  • Any other appropriate community project identified during the course of the RSS;
  • Community administration and clerical duties.

Any appropriate community project that would be of benefit to the local community will be considered under the RSS. Communities benefit from the skills and talents of local farmers and fishermen, while the participants experience opportunities to improve existing or develop new skills and perform valuable work in their own community.

For more information please contact one of the following RSS Supervisors:

Con Halton at 086-8536432 email;

JP Carrigy at 086-8536435 or email;

Dominic Halse at 086-8536437 or


The RSS is funded from the Department of Social Protection.

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