A conference in Co Tipperary is to explore how sport and local amenities can help build and support communities in rural Ireland.

Rural development experts are to discuss how a combination of sport and natural assets could encourage job creation in places outside of the reach of multinational companies.

The conference, called Building Rural Communities - Lessons from Sport, takes place at Mary Immaculate College in Thurles.

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Speakers will include former Kerry footballer Pat Spillane, the director of the National Ploughing Championships, Anna May McHugh, and former Munster rugby player John Hayes.

Tipperary's All-Ireland winning manager Michael Ryan will also speak at the conference.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he highlighted how people in his own local community of Upperchurch have used the geography of the area to attract visitors in for hill-walking and a walking festival.

Conference organiser Fr Eamonn Fitzgibbon told the programme that the aim of the conference was to look at what examples are out there of community initiatives which have worked well.

"We would say the world of sport is the one beacon of hope in rural Ireland at the moment," he said.