Speaking today in response to a report by Teagasc on rural towns, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on rural development Trevor Ó Clochartaigh questioned the utility of the government established Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas.
Senator Ó Clochartiagh said:
“The Teagasc report identified very high rates of unemployment and emigration in rural towns. In November 2012, with much pomp and style, the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas (CEDRA) was launched by the Minister with the former Kerry footballer Pat Spillane at the helm.
“CEDRA’s remit was to produce a report by September 2013 on the actions and initiatives required to promote rural development.
“It is now February 2014 and the report has yet to see the light of day. In the meantime towns across rural Ireland are being decimated by emigration due to lack of employment opportunities.
“No amount of spin can conceal the fact that this government is doing virtualy nothing to address what is a serious regional imbalance in terms of urban-rural development.
“The process is clearly one of uneven development, as a result of which rural Ireland is experiencing exceptionally high levels of emigration and joblessness.”