Leaders fight funding move
Opposition to proposals to move the control of rural development funding from Leader groups to county councils is growing both within the Government and among Leader groups.
A Leader conference in Cork last week heard sharp criticism of the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan's proposals.
John Walsh, the chairman of the normally conciliatory Leader umbrella group, told delegates they must be prepared to fight the proposals at all levels.
Minister Hogan is proposing to put Leader funding and administration under the control of a new body appointed in each county by the county manager.
Leader groups believe that these new bodies will make Leader companies obsolete.
"We went into this dialogue in good faith but to say it has been a very difficult process would be generous," said Mr Walsh.