News Success Story

Success Story – Colin Harris Furniture

Based in his rural studio in Newcastle, Co. Dublin, Colin Harris is a furniture designer and maker who works with clients to create timeless pieces for their home or space that resonate their unique story.

Having started the business back in 2015, his designs are inspired by local, wild, simple things and are handmade design created from exquisite wild Irish hardwoods.

He designs and manufactures his own collection of home accessories and creates bespoke timeless pieces for individuals and corporates.

Colin wanted to increase the number and value of sales and increase the efficiency of production for Colin Harris Furniture so approached the Dublin Rural Leader for advice.

Colin explains that after talking with the team and explaining the outcomes that he wanted, “they invited me to submit an Expression of Interest, which was approved. Dublin Rural LEADER were very helpful in guiding me through the process.”

What Colin wanted to achieve with match funding from Dublin Rural Leader included

  • a professional website which included an online ordering facility.
  • Additional production equipment with modern dust extraction and safety guards & features.

When Colin received funding, he said “The Dublin Rural Leader investment in the business has made a significant step change in both sales and marketing and the efficiency of production. I am very excited about the possibilities for growth in the future.”

And what a growth trajectory Colin has been on.

He has won the Innovation & Craftsmanship Award, Overall Winner, Design & Crafts Council, 2019 as well as Best Product Award, Highly Commended, Design & Crafts Council, 2019.

He has been nominated for Furniture Designer of the Year in Image Interiors in 2019. His renowned slatted chair was featured as part of the marketing campaign for Showcase 2019.

His work has been featured in umpteen press journals and media, most recently, on RTE’s The Today Show in early January 2020.

And much more. He has received commissions from international and national buyers.

We are delighted to see Colin do so well and look forward to hearing about more success in the future.

Colin concluded “I sincerely want to thank Dublin Rural Leader for all their help and support without which I could not have achieved this significant development in my business.

If you have an idea for a business and live in Dublin Rural areas, then contact our team Today. Don’t delay, we are here to help.

Call – 01 807 4282

Email –


Calling all SMEs in Rural Dublin

Calling all SMEs in Rural Dublin

As you move into 2020 and set goals for the new year, have you considered looking at the Dublin Rural Leader Programme for support?

The Dublin Rural Leader programme can can support micro, small and medium enterprises.

The main aim of LEADER is to strengthen the rural economy and to improve the quality of life in rural areas. It can provide up to €200,000 grant-aid per project.

One of the themes of the Dublin Rural Leader Programme is Economic Development, Enterprise Development and Job Creation. This theme is focused on driving continued local economic development within Dublin Rural areas. This includes diversification of the rural economy and the creation of employment opportunities for the local community, including those from disadvantaged groups.

While Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) have primary responsibility for micro-enterprise in Ireland, Leader can complement the services of LEO. Some businesses may not be supported by LEO but they can by Leader.

There is always a co-ordinated approach between the two organisations to ensure SMEs are supported while looking at the allocation of resources.

A report done at the beginning of the Dubin Rural Leader Programme, the CEDRA Report (2014) identified areas that might benefit most from Leader support. These include

  • Artisan and other food businesses
  • Renewable Energy
  • Marine diversification
  • Social Enterprises
  • Creative Industries

The Dublin Rural Leader have supported other businesses including

  • Dog Kennels
  • A Raceway
  • Food manufacturing (process
  • Equestrian centre
  • Turf lawns

Some of the supported actions could include capital investment, analysis and development and training support.

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, a start up, an established business or a social enterprise, here’s what to do

1. Check to see if you live in the designated area

2. Discover more about funding levels and eligible/ineligible projects

3. Contact us for a Expression of Interest form.

News Success Story

Success Story – The Dog Lodge & Lounge Lusk

The Dog Lodge & Lounge in Lusk is a pet hotel with 10 spacious suites all decorated to a luxurious standard. It has an enclosed garden, large enough to cater for both large and small dogs.

Established in 2018 by Antoinette Carroll, Fingal Leader was delighted to have been able to support a great idea that has turned into an amazing business.

The services that Antoinette offers at Hedgetown Lane, Lusk include day camps aswell as the dog lodge and lounge.

Dubin Rural Leader supported project - The Dog Lodge & Lounge Lusk
The Dog Lodge Reception Area

Antoinette explains “I wanted to provide a higher standard of dog boarding kennels that what was on offer locally plus further afield. I quickly realised that to do it properly and on the scale that I wanted, I would need outside help. I approached Dublin Rural LEADER and they listened to my ideas.

They invited me to submit an Expression of Interest, which was approved. Dublin Rural LEADER were very helpful in guiding me through the process.

I submitted a detailed business plan and filled out all the forms to apply for the grant. When my grant application was approved, I was delighted. It meant I could plan ahead and make a start on my project.

Being accepted for LEADER funding meant that I could proceed with my plans on a grander scale than if I did not have funding.

My experience with Dublin Rural LEADER is a positive one. I received excellent guidance and I’m really pleased with my completed project. This has given me a viable business to work in and also an opportunity to grow it as a family business. Thank you to all Dublin Rural LEADER staff.”

Since establishing the business in 2018, they are going from strength to strength. They are booked out for Christmas and New Year and continue to receive super reviews from very happy customers.

Fingal Leader was delighted to have been able to help support a thriving rural business.

If you have an idea for a business and live in Dublin Rural areas, then contact our team Today. Don’t delay, we are here to help.

Call – 353 (01) 807 4282

Email –


Social Inclusion and Rural Environment Event

Dublin Rural LEADER is hosting a Social Inclusion and Rural Environment Event, on the 12th of February, from 7pm until 9pm in Kettles Hotel, Swords, County Dublin.

Who is this Event for?

Anybody who is involved in Social Inclusion, working with different groups or communities, Hard to reach communities, Youth groups, who wish to avail of funds.

Also, anybody who is involved with any Rural Environment group, community or business.

We have invited two guests speakers who will help you to have a better picture of Rural Environment and community financing and will guide you towards a better understanding of these issues and how you can get involved in projects for your own business, community or group that you are part of.

You might want to do something to help your community and you do not know exactly how, here is a list of projects that can be considered for funding under these themes:

Social Inclusion

Hard to Reach Communities

  • Training
  • Capacity Building for Groups
  • Community Infrastructure
  • Capital Infrastructure
  • Capital Equipment
  • Support for inclusive recreational activities
  • Community Centre’s/Hubs

Rural Youth

  • Training & Capacity Building
  • Youth Animation initiative for youth in distress or not engaging


Water Conservation & Awareness

  • Education and Awareness Training for communities
  • Capital Investment for water conservation infrastructure – water butts
  • Publications

Protection & Improvement Biodiversity

  • Community Awareness Training
  • Protection of Habitats Initiatives
  • Creation of eco-systems
  • Bug Hotels
  • Nature Conservation Initiatives
  • Local Biodiversity Plans
  • “Pure Mile Projects”
  • Publications

Development of Renewable Energy

  • Training
  • Capital Investment in Energy Products – Solar Panels, Wind Turbines, Anaerobic Digesters
  • Development of Prototypes
  • Community Heating Systems
  • Local initiatives/Impact assessment


Targeted Call 2019

Dublin Rural LEADER is encouraging community groups, individuals and businesses to apply for funding under our Rural Environment Theme – Biodiversity Sub-Theme. In the spirit of LEADER funding, we acknowledge that people living in the rural areas are most aware of what the problems are, what needs to be done and what resources are available. We encourage you to consider if there is anything you or your group can do to improve biodiversity in your area as loss of biodiversity threatens our fragile eco-systems and damage is often irreversible.


Projects eligible for funding include:

  • biodiversity mapping (i.e. indigenous flora and fauna),
  • establishment of biodiversity trails,
  • signage highlighting various species,
  • training,
  • capacity building,
  • awareness raising programmes including production of short videos to highlight issues,
  • production of leaflets,
  • purchase of equipment for cleaning up damaged areas or maintaining biodiversity,
  • enhancement or protection of biodiversity,
  • establishment of bug hotels,
  • hedgerow restoration,
  • local biodiversity plans,
  • publications regarding best practices.

Our grants range from €2,500-€200,000. Community groups are supported at 75% for capital projects and 90% for analysis & development projects while businesses and individuals are entitled to 50% funding for capital and 75% for A&D projects.


If you would like to undertake any of the above mentioned projects or have a different idea you can get in touch with the Rural Development Team on 01 807 4282 or at

News Projects

R.A.M.S in Rythm

Yesterday morning, 22nd of November, was a brilliant event that we had the opportunity to take part in. On this occasion we wish to congratulate RAMS for raising €10,000 from the sales of CDs funded by Dublin Rural LEADER. With those money raised they supported four wonderful charities: Laura Lynn Children’s Hospice, Down Syndrome Ireland-Kildare Branch, Holy Family Conference S. V de Paul and Capuchin Day Care.

We were very happy to be there. Thank you RAMS for choosing Dublin Rural LEADER to help you with the achievement of this great project!





News Projects

Roseanna Hall External Upgrade

    The project was about supporting the completion of exterior works to upgrade and improve Roseanna Community Hall in Bohernabreena.

This hall is the focal point of community activities for the residents of this area in the Dublin mountains.

The hall opened in 1977 and has been the hub community activities since and it has served the community well.

The hall needed an external security system, exterior lighting was in poor condition, the landscaping needed to be upgraded and the parking facilities were very poor. The project also included the establishment of a peace garden which provides residents with a safe haven of tranquility and thought.

We are very happy to be part of this project and to help this community. The security system and the lighting make the residents feel safer- especially the elders and persons living with disabilities – and encourages them to get involved more, even in winter times.

By extending the carpark the Hall is able to welcome even more visitors at a time and the improved landscaping further enhanced this picturesque spot, hidden in the Dublin Mountains.     The Peace Garden attracts all aspects of the community, giving them a quiet, tranquil place to escape from the noisy world, to focus on themselves and to find peace.




For more information please visit their website

or their Facebook page



All about the Environment

Environmental issues that arise every day is not something to be ignored, in the contrary, for all this concerns we have to find long-term solutions and to do our best to protect our planet.

Our colleague, Nellie Horvath, started a blog  where she will post every week about environmental issues.

Keep up checking the blog if you are interested in this topic. If you have any questions regarding the posts do not hesitate to leave a comment in the bottom of the blog’s page.

We really hope you will find the information useful!


TÚS success story


  I started to work for Fingal LEADER Partnership on the Tús Programme on 24th of April 2017. It was a huge opportunity to regain my confidence and to get back to work after about a 2-year break. Every day I felt privileged to be part of this great company, even if I knew it would only be for 12 months, I embraced this chance with all of my heart.

Meanwhile, I was studying Digital Marketing in Dublin Business School, I had the opportunity to practise what I learnt in Social Media skills and use them within the company, as they did not have a dedicated person for this work at the time.

In June 2017 a position for Clerical Officer became available and I applied for it.  I was very happy to be successful in the interview and was offered the job (part time), so I did not hesitate to take it.  Arriving at the end of the Tús Programme the company offered me full time contract as Clerical Officer and Social Media Coordinator.

Tús Programme is an excellent opportunity for all the people who want to regain or build their confidence and are thinking seriously about the possibility of going back to work.

I improved a lot of my skills, I discovered new ones and I reinvented a new person in me.  I knew I could do it, I just needed a helping hand which I found it in all my colleagues that I am working with.

Ligia DaroiTUS getting you working



Annual Activity Report 2017

2017 has been another very successful year for Fingal Leader Partnership.
The Dublin Rural LEADER programme got off to a very strong start with project targets
being met and, in some cases, exceeded. The Tús Programe has seen the successful
placement of over 200 participants with over 130 participating non-profit organisations,
assisting them to deliver much needed services for our local communities.
The Care and Repair and the new Computer Home Support services operated under the
Tús programme continues to go from strength to strength. The Jobs Club ensured that
over half of all clients during the year either successfully regained employment or went
on to further education. 2017 also saw the very successful move to our new offices and
the integration of services into our new premises at DSV House in Swords Business Park.
In February 2017 we appointed our new CEO, Dr. Chris O’Malley who, over the past
year, has been successfully planning, formulating and managing the change process
within the company. On behalf of the board I would like to take this opportunity to
thank him for his guidance, direction, hard work and commitment to the company since
his appointment.
I would also like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our Deputy CEO, Phil Moore,
for her hard work and dedication to the company over the past number of years. Her
knowledge and experience of the various programmes undertaken by the company
during that time has been invaluable. Thanks also to the various teams that deliver the
programmes and make it all happen on a day to day basis.
Finally, I want to acknowledge the great work being done at board level and to thank my
fellow directors for their contribution and commitment during the year.
We look forward to continuing the great work that has been achieved to date and look
forward to continuing to build a stronger and more dynamic company in 2018 and
Chris Harmon

Click here to see the full Annual Activity Report for 2017.