My name is Liadh Ní Riada, Sinn Féin's EU candidate for Ireland South and I would like to talk to you about what is quickly becoming an endangered species in the Ireland of 2014.
Ba mhaith liom labhairt libh faoi ár saol tuaithe.
I want to talk to you about the Irish rural community.
Endangered because it has been ravaged by job losses
Endangered because it has been eroded by emigration
Endangered because it has been strangled by a lack of investment and due consideration by successive governments Fianna Fáil and the current government.
I am from a rural community and my children are growing up in a rural community.
I am proud of my identity and everything that rural Ireland has given to my life.
But equal to that pride is a burning anger at the way rural communities have been treated by Fianna Fáil in the past and now the current government.
Our highly educated young people are being FORCED to emigrate. It is not a lifestyle choice!
The only choice that this Fine Gael & Labour government offered the people who have emigrated since 2011 is the BOAT or the DOLE?
A choice between merely existing on €100 a week or leaving their families and friends for the cities of Australia, Canada and the US this is not a choice.
A whole generation, abandoned by the Fine Gael and Labour Government, scattered to the four corners of the globe.
Do NOT tell us they didn’t want to stay at home
Do NOT tell us they did not want to live, work and raise their families here
Do NOT tell us that they wanted to leave their local GAA clubs and sports clubs.
That is nonsense. And the Fine Gael & Labour TDs, who claimed that the exodus from rural Ireland is a free choice, know that they are speaking nonsense.
Rural communities are decimated due to the absence of a genuine development strategy for rural Ireland.
Such a strategy should and must be about creating jobs locally for people who live locally! This plan must focus on:
Job creation A plan that develops indigenous industries, co-operatives, small and medium businesses. Supporting businesses and local industries will breathe new life and vibrancy into rural areas.
Investment in our Gaeltacht communities, in our fishing industry and in the roads and rail infrastructure.
The latest attack on rural Ireland is the move to blight our countryside with Pylons. It is time for the government to acknowledge the very real issues of rural Ireland. We have real health concerns. We don’t want to see our natural environment destroyed.
Is seod luachmhar atá againn lenár dtimpeallacht Put the power lines underground – that is the right thing to do!
Economies should serve the interests of the people, not the other way around. Europe needs to be about the people of Europe, all the people of Europe, including those who want to live and work in rural areas. It is time for Europe to take responsibility and work for a fairer, equal and democratic society. Ireland is on the peripheral of Europe and now more than ever, We need a strong Irish voice in the heart of Europe.
If elected as an MEP for Ireland South, I will be advocating for a European jobs stimulus package for Rural Ireland It is time our representatives in Europe put Ireland First. Tá sé thar a bheith in am go mbeadh guth cois mhuintir na Tíre seo le cloisint I mBrussels, Guth Gaelach. Lets make 2014 a year of change. Go raibh maith agaibh.