• A Census Atlas of Irish Agriculture

      Commins, Patrick; Lafferty, F.; Walsh, Jim A. (Teagasc, 1999-08-01)
      Computerised mapping systems were developed to analyse agricultural census statistics and data from agricultural policy administration sources. The objective was to identify local geographical variations in the structure and trends in the agricultural economy by mapping the available information, principally at the level of the District Electoral Division (DED) and the Rural District (RD). There were 3,113 DEDs and 156 RDs in the analysis. The main database was the 1991 Census of Agriculture, the latest available. Some statistics are updated annually and where possible these were used in tabular form to trace the 1991- 1997 trends for Regional Authority areas. Conclusions: There are distinctive farming regions in the country whose boundaries span unevenly across county limits. These are undergoing different processes of change depending on their resource base, their responses to economic imperatives, and the policy environment. • Commercial farming has become increasingly associated with areas south and east of a line from Limerick to Dundalk. • It is likely that policies and trends post 2000 will further increase the differences in resource use between commercial farming and other areas.
    • Development Programmes and Policy Measures in the Western Countries

      McDonagh, Perpetua; Commins, Patrick; Leavy, Anthony (Teagasc, 1999-08-01)
      This report compares the 11 western counties (Connacht, Ulster, and counties Longford, Clare and Kerry) with the 15 other counties, in aggregate, as regards the effectiveness of various policies and programme measures in reaching their target populations.
    • Future Perspectives on Rural Areas.

      Commins, Patrick (Teagasc, 2001-02-01)
      The aim of this project was to project the potential impact of post-2000 economic and policy changes on Irish rural areas. It was intended originally to use a model-building approach in collaboration with the University of Missouri but this did not prove feasible. Instead, a possible scenario of future change for the rural economy was developed under four headings: • number of farms and the size of the farm labour force • agricultural structures • employment and enterprise • population and settlement. The scenario is based on assessment of current trends, on key assumptions about the future, and on the likely directions of relevant policies.
    • Integrated Rural Tourism

      Hunter, Barbara A; Commins, Patrick; McDonagh, Perpetua (Teagasc, 2004-06-01)
      The overall aim of the SPRITE project was to analyse and develop the potential for better integrated tourism (IT) in the lagging rural regions of Europe. “Integrated rural tourism” is tourism, which is directly and positively linked to the economic, social, cultural and natural resources in the rural region in which it takes place. It seeks to make optimal use of these resources. It is basically a perspective or an approach to tourism development, which is sensitive to the nature of local resources and traditions and to the opportunities for sharing in the benefits of tourism development. In Ireland work on the project was shared between Rural Economy Research Centre of Teagasc, who held responsibility for the study of one selected region referred to as the North Midland Counties, and the Department of Geography at NUIG, who analysed the Western Region. This report is predominantly concerned with the work done by staff of Rural Economy Research Centre in the North Midland region.
    • Projecting population and labour market trends in rural areas.

      Wiemers, Emily; Commins, Patrick; Pitts, Eamonn; Ballas, Dimitris; Clarke, Graham (Teagasc, 2002-12-01)
      This purpose of this project is to develop a spatial model to project population and labour market variables at the small area level in Ireland. The model is called SMILE (Simulation Model for the Irish Local Economy) and is a static and dynamic spatial microsimulation model. Microsimulation attempts to describe economic and social events by modelling the behaviour of individual agents such as persons or firms. Microsimulation models have proved useful in evaluating the impact of policy changes at the micro level. Spatial microsimulation models contain information on geographic units and allow for a regional or local approach to policy analysis. SMILE is based on modelling work on urban systems and employs similar techniques for analysing rural areas. The static model creates a spatially referenced synthetic population of Ireland. Each individual enumerated in the 1991 Census of Population is synthetically constructed and is assigned 11 census characteristics including a District Electoral Division (DED) location. The dynamic element incorporated in SMILE ages the synthetic population by modelling demographic processes including fertility, mortality and internal migration. The dynamic process is used to project population in the medium term; it ages the synthetic 1991 population to 1996. For validation purposes, these 1996 projections are then compared to the 1996 Census of Population. The same process was used to project between the 1996 and the 2002 Census of Population. The results indicate that the accuracy at DED and county level is within acceptable limits. The model will be extended in the next three years, beginning in 2003, with additions including validating individual attributes such as employment status and social class and also including households in the model. This project has created a basic model that can be expanded and developed in the future.
    • The Promotion and Marketing of Qulaity Products from Disadvantaged Rual Areas.

      McDonagh, Perpetua; Commins, Patrick (Teagasc, 2000-11-01)
      The present study was part of a project co-funded under the EU’s Fifth Framework Programme. The project was concerned with 12 ‘lagging rural regions’ in six countries of the EU and, specifically, with the strategies, structure and policies used to support the successful marketing and promotion of quality products and services in these regions. Its aims were: – to identify current marketing strategies and promotional activities among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with special reference to the use of regional imagery in marketing quality products and services; – to explore consumer perceptions in relation to the purchase of quality products and services from specific lagging regions; – to identify the strategies and practices of the main institutional structures (e.g., local authorities, development agencies, marketing organisations) in supporting the marketing of quality products and services; – to bring forward ideas for the future development of regional quality products and services.