Olivia Mitchell: “We can be deluded and, if we make a decision about the president in a moment of temporary delusion, we will live with the consequences of it for seven years.” Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

A senior Fine Gael TD has criticised the Government’s decision to hold a referendum on reducing the age for presidential candidates from 35 to 21, sa(...)

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly, pictured with Mary Fogarty from the Cottage Cafe in Loughmore village, Co Tipperary, said he was keen to see new ideas for renewing villages and small towns. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Groups interested in running the €250 million local development Leader programme in their areas have been invited to make an expression of interest.T(...)

Up to 80 supporters from Galway handed in a petition yesterday as part of a new ‘Save Forum Connemara’ campaign. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

The Government has inflicted another “blow to local democracy” through its reconfiguration of programme funding for social inclusion, a Connemara(...)

Kerry TD Tom Fleming said Save Rural Ireland had met TDs and Senators to express their views on rural Ireland’s continuing demise. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Independent TD Tom Fleming has called for the inclusion of a specialised rural policy in any future programme for government.“This has not been done (...)

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Spokesmen for 1st Independent Mayo, based in the Taoiseach’s political base, has said the campaign aims to promote community-based politics across the State. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Campaigners for a new type of community-based political representation in Mayo say their template could apply to any constituency across the State.The(...)

Bus Éireann has cited  commercial obligations as a pretext for considering cuts to some services. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Bus Éireann has agreed to temporarily suspend plans to cut part of its Dublin to Cork Expressway service following a public meeting in opposition to t(...)

Bus Éireann chief executive Martin Nolan said if the Government wanted smaller towns and villages on commercial routes to be serviced, it would have to pay a subsidy. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Planned cuts to some of Bus Éireann’s rural routes have been condemned by farm groups and organisations of rural and older people. The national bus se(...)

Senator Katherine Zappone: said the three-day rule regarding part-time work simply did not correspond to the reality of people’s lives. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

The three-day rule covering availability for work with regard to the Jobseeker’s Allowance was criticised in the Seanad by Independent Katherine Zapp(...)

Minister of State with responsibility for rural affairs, Ann Phelan, said she was exiting her house when she “tipped a tyre off a lorry”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

A Government minister has been fined €100 for driving her car without insurance. Carlow-Kilkenny Labour deputy Ann Phelan, who is a Minister of State (...)

It has been estimated there will be 300,000 extra milking cows on farms here within five years. Photograph: The Irish Times

Could 2015 be the year rural Ireland begins to bounce back? Traffic on the M50 surpasses pre-recession levels, but rural towns are still waiting for g(...)