Rural Social Scheme - SST

Séamus Ó Ráinne


The Rural Social Scheme (Scéim Sosialta Tuaithe in Irish) was launched in May 2004 in all the Gaeltacht areas. Connemara has four of these schemes in operation at the moment, one of which is based in Comhairle Ceantar na nOileán. SST an Cheathrú Rua/Ceantar na nOileán is overseen by Séamus Ó Ráinne. There are currently 25 people employed under this scheme in conjunction with Údaras na Gaeltachta and private sponsors. SST allows low income Farmers and Fishermen who are unable to earn an adequate income from their holdings/fishing, to earn a supplementary income. Participants work 19.5 hours a week. There are 8 work categories available:-

  1. Maintenance and enhancement of marked ways, agreed walks and bog roads.
  2. Energy conservation work for the elderly or less well off.
  3. Village and countryside enhancement projects
  4. Social care and care of the elderly, community after-school groups and community pre-schooling groups.
  5. Environmental maintenance works - maintaining and care taking of community and sporting facilities
  6. Projects relating to non profit cultural and heritage centres.
  7. Community Administration/clerical duties.
  8. Any other appropriate community project identified during the course of the scheme.

As well as being involved in a vast amount of maintenance works on community facilities in the area, the scheme also carried out works on a number of homes belonging to the elderly. Approx 100 houses were insulated by the scheme together with the Te Teolaí scheme from MFG with SEI. There are 5 cemeteries under the care of the scheme, as are local piers, slips and beaches which are being maintained and kept clean for the benefit of anyone who chooses to use them.



Participants' hours are flexible subject to the requirements of the project they are involved with. For example, they can work one week on and one week off or longer if necessary. For more details, contact

Séamus Ó Ráinne on 091 551920.


Benefits to Participants

  • Personal development and Social interaction
  • Work experience, making a contribution to the community
  • Financial benefits, paying a PRSI contribution
  • Improve existing skills, develop new ones
  • Flexible working hours

Benefits to the community

  • Communities benefit from the skills of local Farmers and Fishermen
  • Improvements to existing amenities
  • SST provide additional resources to maintainand and improve local amenities and facilities
  • Participants perform valuable work in the area