Rural Social Scheme

The aims of the RSS are to provide income support for farmers or their family members who are currently in receipt of long term social welfare payments, and to provide rural communities with services that will enhance the social, physical, natural and cultural resources of their locality.

The RSS allows low-income farmers who are unable to earn an adequate living from their farm holding, to earn a supplementary income through employment provided by local community development projects.

Eligible Criteria for participation on the R.S.S.

Those in receipt of farm assist or Have a valid herd (or flock) number and in receipt of one of the following social welfare payments

  • Unemployment Assistance
  • Unemployment Benefit
  • Disability Allowance

If you are eligible but do not wish to participate on the scheme yourself your spouse, children/sibling may be eligible to take your place. The qualifying applicant must be a member of a farm household.(i) are resident and or working on the farm and (ii) are in receipt of one of the qualifying social welfare payments. The holder of the herd/flock number must agree to give up their place on the scheme, as only one place can be allocated per herd/flock number.

Employment Terms and Remuneration: Applicants work 19.5 hours per week. Successful participants obtain a 12 month placement and are eligible for a further placement after this period subject to satisfactory performance and the availability of places on the scheme.

Participant CategoryTotal Weekly Payment
Participant without Adult Dependent €208.00
Participant with Adult Dependent €332.80* maximum
Each Child Dependent (Full-Rate) €29.80
Each Child Dependent (Half-Rate) €14.90

* The amount of the increase for the adult dependant is assessed by the Department of Social Protection. This means that the rate for a participant with an adult dependant may be reduced if the adult dependant has income, for example, from part-time employment. You are not entitled an RSS payment for your adult dependant (spouse/partner) if he or she earns over €310 per week.

Community Groups

The intention of the RSS is that all of the work undertaken will be beneficial to the local community. Projects that are included under the scheme must be community-based and not-for-profit.

R.S.S. in Louth There are 10 participants, 6 male and 4 female working on a variety of community projects in the county. Substantial benefits have been generated by the RSS at community level. In recent years many community groups have suffered from a lack of volunteers or have cited pressure on members to sustain their involvement. In many instances the RSS is providing real and tangible supports to these groups thus giving volunteers time to plan the development needed in these areas. In some instances activities would have to be severely curtailed without the work undertaken by RSS participants

The types of projects carried out in Louth are:

  • Village and countryside enhancement projects
  • Environmental maintenance work
  • Maintenance and caretaking of community and sporting facilities
  • Projects relating to not for profit cultural and heritage centres
Community GroupActivity
Tallanstown Tidy Towns Village & Countryside enhancement
Mullabouy Community Centre Maintenance and taking care of community centre
Carlingford Community Development Foy Centre Maintenance and taking care of community centre
Carlingford Lough Heritage Centre Maintenance and taking care of community centre
Glenmore Athletic Club Maintenance and care taking of sporting facilities
Naomh Fionnbarra GFC Maintenance and care taking of sporting facilities
Clonkeen Church & Graveyard Care and maintenance of church and graveyard
Cooley Community Projects Care and maintenance of parish and community property
Omeath District Development Care and maintenance of community playground and fields

For more information on the Rural Social Scheme contact

Mavis Kelly,
Louth Leader Partnership
Bridge Street
Tel: 041 6857374

Rural Social Scheme

For more info on this programme please contact Mavis Kelly
041 - 6857375
Contact by email »

This programme has recently helped:

Find Out More Contact us for more info on this programme