RTE Television

The Battle for Rural Ireland

Ireland is back on track. After seven hard years, the economy is starting to move again. Unemployment is down, growth forecasts are up and even construction is kicking off. In Dublin, the signs are obvious - the city is buzzing again.

But travel outside of the capital and the picture looks very different. Rural Ireland is still reeling after the crash. Emigration and unemployment have hit communities hard and the evidence of a two-speed recovery is plain to see.

This situation, however, is not unique to Ireland. All over the world, cities are continuing to grow and expand, leaving towns and villages and rural populations in decline. 50% of the world's population now live in cities and this figure is expected to rise to 75% by 2050.

This documentary will examine how this international trend is manifesting itself here in Ireland and pose the stark and politically sensitive question - if all our rural communities cannot survive - how do we decide which ones do and which ones don't?

Presenter: The documentary will be presented by journalist Richard Curran. Richard is from Monaghan but spent 27 years in Dublin. Like many before him, Richard came to Dublin for a third level education and stayed for career opportunities. Three years ago he and his wife Kathy and two children moved to Redcastle in the Inishowen peninsula. Richard was always determined to get back to rural Ireland - he felt he would never really be happy in the city.

The Battle for Rural Ireland
  • RT One, Monday 9th March, 9.40pm