Suck Valley Way Conference addresses rural regeneration

The inaugural two-day Suck Valley Way Conference took place on Wednesday, April 27th, and Thursday, April 28th, at the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon.

  Organised by the Suck Valley Way Development Co-Op, the conference was officially launched by Chief Executive of Roscommon County Council, Eugene Cummins. The conference focused on a number of key topics such as rural regeneration in the west of Ireland post-pandemic, unlocking our tourism potential, employment and enterprise opportunities, and rural sustainability.

  The first day of the conference (with Darragh Kelly of the Roscommon Herald as MC) was addressed by Cllr. Anthony Waldron (Chairperson of SVW Development Co-Op), Cllr. Peter Keaveny (Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council), Tommy Moylan (Director, Association of Irish Local Government), Eugene Cummins (Roscommon County Council CE), as well as by keynote speakers Paddy Mathews (Hidden Heartlands), Joe Fenwick (NUIG/author), Seamus McMenamin (Bord Bia) and Martina Earley (CEO, Roscommon LEADER).

  The second day of the conference (with Paul Healy of the Roscommon People as MC in the morning session and Seamus Duke of RosFM officiating in the afternoon) was addressed by Cllr. Anthony Waldron, Cllr. Joe Murphy (Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council), Eiméar Dowd (Tourism Officer, Roscommon County Council) and Ronan Bilbow (Roscommon Rural Recreation Officer). Keynote speakers included Pyers O’Connor Nash (Clonalis House), Declan Hoare (Operations Manager, Athlone Labs), Jarlath O’Dwyer (Burren Eco Tourism Network), Dr Michael Tobin (Dean of Faculty of Continuing, Professional, Online and Distance Learning at Athlone Institute of Technology (now TUS)), Colm O’Rourke (columnist and broadcaster), Gillian Buckley (Chairperson, Irish Venture Capital Association), David Minton (Director, North and West Regional Assembly), Francis O’Donnell (CEO, Inland Fisheries), Nollaig Feeney (Heritage Officer, RCC), and entrepreneur Declan Ganley (the latter by video link from Washington).

  For more information on the Suck Valley Way, visit, or find Suck Valley Way on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.