Sinn Féin TD and Sligo/Leitrim/Sth Donegal and Nth Roscommon Martin Kenny TD has welcomed a report which calls for ‘positive discrimination’ for the West and North West.
The report from the Northern and Western Regional Assembly (NWRA) said that health, infrastructure and education in the West and North West need a policy of “positive discrimination” following years of neglect.
Martin Kenny said:
“I have long be saying, and indeed campaigning, on the issue of the need for targeted investment for the West and North West region.
“Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon and Donegal have suffered decades on indifference from successive Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil governments.
“This has resulted in mass emigration, high unemployment, business closures and a dearth of public service provision in these counties.
“The North West has suffered disproportionately in economic bad times but also failed to share in the prosperity of economic upturns.
“This stems from an attitude and approach by government and agencies of the state, which focuses investment, planning and infrastructure heavily in the east of the country.
“There is no other word for this but discrimination. Discriminations against specific counties and discrimination against our own citizens.
“I welcome the report from the NWRA and the manner in which they have exposed the huge levels of inequality in this region.
“The NWRA describes a “two-speed” economy which has developed here and this is what must change.
“I welcome the report’s call for ‘positive discrimination’ to address the deficit.
“Now is the time to positively address the future of rural Ireland and to take the necessary measures to revive or rural towns, villages and communities.
“Rural Ireland and the North West needs a level playing field, but this will not happen if we continue to return governments dominated by the same old parties who have failed rural Ireland.
“When I introduced a Rural Proofing Bill to the Dáil in 2017, which would have ensured that any policies and measures would be examined for their impact on rural Ireland, this was opposed by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.
“Sinn Féin is committed to investing in rural communities, villages and towns. In defending the family farm model and in delivering services on a basis of equality to everyone in rural Ireland.
“A vote for Sinn Féin is a vote for a healthy and prosperous future for rural Ireland.”