An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, has confirmed that the Government has agreed to transfer a range of responsibilities to Sean Kyne TD under his role as Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Minister Kyne is now responsible for a significant number of areas at the newly-established Department including the Western Development Commission, the Atlantic Economic Corridor, the Charities Regulator Authority, the Public Participation Networks, the Forum on Philanthropy and the Social Innovation Fund.
Minister Kyne is also responsible for the funding schemes for the Community and Voluntary Pillar including the Scheme to Support National Organisations, the Dormant Accounts Fund and the Communities Facility Fund. Minister Kyne is also the co-chair of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce.
These new responsibilities are in addition to the responsibilities which Minister Kyne has as Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, which relate to Inland Fisheries, Geoscience and Mining as well Digital Development which includes the National Digital Strategy, Cybersecurity and the EU’s Digital Single Market.
Speaking today An Taoiseach said:
“The establishment of a stand-alone Department for Rural and Community Development was one of my first actions as Taoiseach and indicates the strong importance which the Government places on ensuring balanced regional development and strong rural growth.
“Minister Kyne will play a vital role in driving action across a range of rural policy areas, including the Western Development Commission and the Atlantic Economic Corridor, which has been set up to enhance development along the Western Seaboard.
“As well as a number of other duties, Minister Kyne is also chairing the Mobile and Broadband Taskforce, which is helping to remove barriers to broadband, improve mobile coverage and prepare communities for the roll out of the National Broadband Plan.
“I look forward to working closely with Minister Kyne and Minister Michael Ring to deliver the best possible results for rural areas.”