Cavan tonight began to welcome 400 people from as far away as Canada, Korea, Latvia and Columbia for an international gathering of rural development workers, policy makers, academics and ministers and their officials. They are in town to attend a major conference titled ‘Building Sustainable, Resilient and Thriving Rural Places’.

The conference will cover many topics including the profound impact on rural areas of Russia’s war on Ukraine, the acceleration of remote working and the urgent need to invest in net-zero energy sources.

The three-day event is being hosted by the Irish Government and is the 13th such conference by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It is being held in the Slieve Russell Hotel from Wednesday, Sept 28th to Friday, Sept 30th, and An Taoiseach Micheál Martin is among those expected to speak at the event.

Also taking part from Ireland are Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, who is from Cavan, Minister of State for Rural and Community Development, Joe O’Brien, and agriculture minister Charlie McConalogue. The ministers will meet counterparts from other countries including Scotland, the USA and the Czech Republic.

In a statement yesterday, the Department of Rural and Community Development noted, “It is the first time that Ireland has hosted such a conference and follows on from the publication of the Government’s rural development policy, Our Rural Future.”

• All is ready for Irish practitioners to showcase rural development work in this country at the OECD’s 13th rural development conference – being held in Co. Cavan. This photo and main photo by Joe Saunders.

Earlier, the OECD said of its 2022 conference – “It is more important than ever for governments to put in place ambitious policies to leverage the transformative role of rural regions in keeping recovery from the pandemic on track and preparing for shocks.”

It said the main policy focus in Cavan will be on “anticipating and addressing risks, maximising development opportunities, mobilising citizens, and building long-term resilience in rural regions”.

A full programme of talks and workshops is scheduled. More details online at:

The following are among those due to speak in Cavan.

• Speaker photos from OECD pre-event publicity material.

More information

(Source: Statement issued Sept 26th by Dept. of Rural and Community Development)


Our Rural Future

Our Rural Future is the whole-of-government policy for rural Ireland for the period 2021-2025. It represents a new milestone in the approach to rural development policy for Ireland and adopts a more strategic, ambitious and holistic approach to investing in and maximising opportunities for rural areas. The policy’s objectives will be achieved through the delivery of more than 150 commitments to be implemented across a range of government departments and agencies.


The OECD is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 38 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. It is a forum of countries committed to democracy and the market economy, providing a platform to compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practices and coordinate domestic and international policies of its members.

OECD Rural Conference

The OECD Rural Conference is a high-profile international policy and political forum for OECD member countries to discuss rural development in a holistic manner, with each conference having a specific thematic focus. The most recent was held in Korea in 2019 and focused on Rural Well-Being.