Farmers are wanted to join Rural Social Scheme

Promoting Rural Social Scheme in Kerry front l-r: Ruth Fleming and Mary Fleming Delegate Kerry IFE, back: l-r John Cronin Rural Social Scheme Supervisor in Killarney area and Patsy Herlihy Chairman Gneeveguilla IFA. Photo by Tatyana McGough.


South Kerry Development Partnership CLG (SKDP) are looking for farmers in East Kerry and Killarney to join the Rural Social Scheme (RSS).

To this end, SKDP are organising an information ,meeting at Murphys Bar, Barraduff at 8pm on Monday February 27. South Kerry Development Partnership have currently 140 farmers working on the Rural Social Scheme and a further 27 places available for new farmers to join the scheme.

On January 9 of this year, 2023 John Cronin was appointed as a full time RSS supervisor covering East Kerry and the Greater Killarney area in an effort to reach out to farmers and encourage them to join the RSS. John Cronin is based in the South Kerry Development Partnership CLG office at 37 High Street, Killarney, Co Kerry where farmers can meet John to discuss the opportunities provided through the RSS.

The Rural Social Scheme provides a supplementary income for low-income farmers and fishermen.

To qualify for the scheme, you must be getting a social welfare payment. In return, people participating in the scheme provide services that benefit rural communities.

You work 19.5 hours per week on a local community project such as sports clubs, developing and upgrading walks way, care of community buildings, maintaining community grounds, maintaining graveyards, care of the elderly, community administration etc. These hours are based on a farmer or fisher-friendly schedule. This ensures that participation on the scheme does not affect your farming or fishing activities. A participant retires from the scheme on the day before their 66th birthday.

To participate in the scheme, you must be 25 years or over and getting Farm Assist or if you are actively farming or fishing, you may qualify for the scheme if you are getting one of the following social welfare payments:

- Jobseeker’s Allowance.

- Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment,

- Disability Allowance,

- One-Parent Family Payment,

- Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Contributory) Pension,

- Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Non-contributory) Pension,

- Increase for a qualified adult under 66 years of age as part of your spouse, cohabitant or civil partner’s State Pension (Non-contributory).

You can retain your medical card while you are taking part in the Rural Social Scheme.

You must provide proof that you are actively farming. To do this, you must provide a copy of your application for the Basic Payment Scheme for the current year, including a valid herd number.

For further information, please contact John Cronin, the RSS Supervisor on 087-9568257 or 064-6636572