Sinn Féin TD for Louth Ruairí Ó Murchú has been unveiled as the party’s spokesperson on Communications and Broadband.
Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald included the first-time TD in her announcement of a further 11 spokespersons positions on Tuesday.
The Dundalk-based TD, who has a masters in computer science, said he was honoured to have been selected for the role and was looking forward to getting started.
Ó Murchú will work alongside Meath East TD Darren O’Rourke, shadowing Minister Eamon Ryan at the Department of Climate Action, Communications, Networks and Transport.
Teachta Ó Murchú said;
“I am honoured to have been selected for this position. Everyone in Louth, and indeed across the State, knows what a joke broadband is in swathes of rural Ireland.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has cemented the fact that broadband is essential to the everyday lives of people in every walk of life.
“We know that remote working will be a far bigger part of the lives of workers in the coming months and years. We need to see more employees working from home, or in their local towns – meaning less traffic on the roads and more time with their families.
“But because of the omnishambles that has been the National Broadband Plan, under Fine Gael, many rural businesses will not see high speed broadband any time soon.
“Sinn Féin has proposed the establishment of digital hubs in rural towns, replicating the success of the Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen. The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund should partner with others to invest €1 billion over a decade regenerating town centres, including the creation of broadband hubs with work spaces for local businesses, and this is something that I want to work towards.”
The Sinn Féin TD also has responsibility for communications, which covers the postal service, cyber security and cyber safety.
“We have seen enormous benefits in terms of education and communication heralded by digital technology, but there are many dangers.
“We are committed to the creation of an Office of a Digital Safety Commissioner and roll-out of a National Strategy on Children’s Cyber Safety.”