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In 1991, the European Union decided to roll out a new and exciting rural development initiative across Europe, known as LEADER (Liaisons Entre Actions de Développement de l'Économie Rurale; Linked Actions for the Development of the Rural Economy.) In Ireland, seventeen community-based groups were selected to deliver the LEADER programme, among them South West Mayo Development Company. We are now one of fifty similar organisations across Ireland, of which thirty-six are rural-based.

Since 1991, the company has been responsible for the delivery of four hugely successful LEADER programmes. Since 1996 we have implemented a succession of programmes dealing with Social Inclusion, most recently the Local and Community Development Programme. We now manage one of the largest Rural Social Schemes in Ireland and deliver additional programmes, including Community Employment schemes, a Local Training Initiative, and more recent schemes such as the Tús programme and Equality for Women Measure. We are contracted by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government for the Rural Recreation and Walks Scheme in Co. Mayo. A Community Liaison Worker and a Drugs and Alcohol Education Worker are employed with funding from the Western Region Drugs Task Force.  Their remit covers all of Co. Mayo and part of Co. Roscommon.  In addition, two Community Futures Development workers are employed under a service arrangement with Mayo Community Engagement Network. They work to support the Community Futures Plans drawn up in communities throughout Co. Mayo.

We are thankful to our funding partners, who have confidence in the company's ability to deliver development programmes efficiently and well. South West Mayo Development Company has now become established as the Local Development Company for south and west Mayo.


To sustain and develop the people, communities, resources and the environment of the South and West Mayo area, and to create and foster employment and economic opportunities through the proper use of these resources. To promote, support, assist and engage in

a)    social development

b)    enterprise development to facilitate rural and urban regeneration or

c)    community development, designed to benefit and promote the welfare of local communities or to deal with the causes and consequences of social and economic disadvantage or poverty.


South West Mayo Development Company is a non-profit making organisation and is governed by an independent Board of Directors. Sub-committees are in place under the Board to oversee specific programmes and company governance areas. Gerry O'Neill, Chief Executive Officer, is responsible for the day-to-day management of the company, together with a core staff complement of thirty-eight.

Our board comprises directors from four main pillars; eight are from the community/voluntary sector, four from the social partnership sector, two from the statutory and agency sector and two represent the local authority sectors.

Our board members are:

Name Representing Organisation/Electoral Area
Seán Carolan Community & Voluntary West Mayo
Olivia Feeney
Social Partners Environmental Pillar
Thomas Fitzpatrick Social Partners IFA
Paul Gibbons (Chair)
Community & Voluntary Ballinrobe/Claremorris
Donagh Gilmartin Community & Voluntary Castlebar Rural
John Healy Community & Voluntary Castlebar Urban
Padraig Heverin Social Partners SIPTU
Monica Horan Community & Voluntary Ballinrobe/Claremorris
Maura King Social Partners Farming Pillar (ICMSA)
Noreen McGarry Community & Voluntary Castlebar Rural
Seán Molloy Community & Voluntary Achill/Ballycroy
Seán Ó Coisdealbha Statutory & Agency Údaras na Gaeltachta

Michael O'Donnell Community & Voluntary West Mayo
Eugene O'Malley Community & Voluntary Ballinrobe/Claremorris
Padraig Reilly Community & Voluntary East Mayo






South West Mayo Development Company, Main Company Office, Georges Street, Newport, Co. Mayo, (F28 X329) Ireland.
T: +353 (0) 98 41950  F: +353 (0) 98 41952  E: info@southmayo.com

Rural Social Scheme Office, Main Street, Balla, Co. Mayo, Ireland.
T: +353 (0) 94 9366692  F: +353 (0) 94 9366693 E: rss@southmayo.com

Registered in Dublin 182222. Recognised by the Revenue Commissioners as a Charity No. CHY 10482
Copyright © 2010 South West Mayo Development. All Rights Reserved.
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