Sinn Féin has today announced the party will bring a motion in the Dáil to stand up for rural communities and ensure they receive fair and balanced investment from government.
The motion will be debated in the Dáil on Tuesday and calls on the government to:
– Introduce a statutory requirement for all government departments and public bodies to undertake rural impact assessments on their work,
– Provide clarity on all projects in the National Development Plan, including funding and timescales,
– And commit to delivering the Western Rail Corridor, a National Aviation Policy and key public transport policies.
Speaking today, Sinn Féin TD for Mayo, Rose Conway-Walsh said:
“People living in towns, villages and rural communities have been dismissed by government for far too long. It’s time for rural Ireland to get the support it needs to thrive and reach its full potential.
“The National Development Plan was announced last month with glossy brochures and slick press conferences, but as is so often the case with this government, it has amounted to little more than a PR exercise which will not provide the investment our regions desperately need.
“Not only did it fail to help our towns, villages and rural communities, it actually rolled back on many previous commitments.
“Several road projects outlined in the National Development Plan have had their completion dates removed. There is now significant doubt about a number of road projects which are stated to be subject to approval. The failure to include a Western Rail Corridor was a missed opportunity.
“This government has no vision for our towns, villages and rural communities. Their lack of commitment to balanced investment is clear for all to see in the National Development Plan.
“Sinn Féin is bringing this motion to stand up for our towns, villages and rural communities to ensure fair investment.”
Sinn Féin TD for Roscommon-Galway, Claire Kerrane TD said:
“Rural Ireland has been consistently failed by governments who are big on talk but short on delivery. The fact that the North and Western Region has been downgraded by the EU Commission from a ‘developed region’ to a region ‘in transition’ is a damning sign of their failure.
“Changes to remote working over the last two years have proven a once in a generation opportunity to reinvigorate our towns, villages and communities, if the right supports are in place.
“Sinn Féin are bringing this motion to stand up for rural Ireland and ensure that this scandal does not continue. It’s time for fair and balanced investment”
Sinn Féin TD for Galway West- South Mayo, Mairéad Farrell TD said:
“Rural Ireland can be an incredible place to live, work and to raise a family but it needs to be given the supports necessary to thrive. The National Development Plan was scant on detail and void of ambition. It exposed how this government is out of touch, out of ideas and out of time.
“Sinn Féin’s motion is calling for fair, balanced development which means that rural Ireland is no longer left behind by this out of touch government. It is long overdue that towns, villages and communities should have their fair share of investment and opportunities.”
Sinn Féin TD for Meath East Darren O’Rourke said:
“The government has recently hiked their controversial carbon tax even higher, penalising people in rural communities who don’t have the option of using public transport.
Their failure in the National Development Plan to invest in public transport exposes how flawed their punitive approach is. If we want a greener Ireland, we have to put in place viable public transport options, not penalise rural Ireland when alternatives simply aren’t available.
“Sinn Féin in government would stand up for rural Ireland and ensure this unfair and unbalanced approach ends.”