IRD Duhallow is a community-based integrated rural development company that was established in 1989. The company combines the efforts and resources of the State Bodies, Local Authorities, Local Communities and individual entrepreneurs for the benefit of the local areas. The main objective of IRD Duhallow is to establish and to support initiatives directed towards the generation of enterprise for the benefit and welfare of communities in Duhallow who may be deprived due to rural population, immigration, lack of training, economic deprivation or poor infrastructure.
To date IRD Duhallow has supported over 37 geographically based communities and over 60 issue based groups from youth to women, lone parents, mental health, sporting, educational, cultural and environmental groups. IRD Duhallow territory includes North West Cork and South East Kerry and is approximately 1800 sq.km and has a population density of 16 per sq. km. It is a largely Rural Area. Over 85% of the population live in the open countryside or in settlements of less than 200 people. The Duhallow region has four market towns; Kanturk (Pop 1915), Millstreet (1401), Newmarket (949), Rathmore (611) and 32 villages.