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The Sunday Times 20.11.2016. Reproduced here with kind permission of the Sunday Times newspaper.


Ireland’s rural population has increased by just over 19%in the past 20 years, according to Teagasc, the state research body for the food and agriculture sector. A study, carried out by Dr David Meredith, senior researcher at Teagasc, looked at rural Ireland —its economy and where people are going to live. Media reports tend to focus on specific components of population decline, especially the headlinegrabbing “Can’t even field a GAA team” line, which focuses on young men. Populations comprise more than young men, however, and increases can be found in other age categories, such as the over-55s.