Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Michael Colreavy TD has described the ending of the current National Broadband Scheme as yet another disgraceful abandonment of rural Ireland by Government and their friends in big business. He was speaking during a visit to the National Livestock Show in Tullamore yesterday. Deputy Colreavy contrasted the hard work, imagination and dedicated sincerity of the Show organizers with the record of an Irish Government that promises much but delivers only misery to people in rural Ireland.
Deputy Colreavy said:
"The recent announcement that 3G broadband customers will have to pay substantially more or suffer a reduced level of already inadequate service from August 25th is yet another slap in the face for people in rural Ireland. While Government talks of their plans to bring broadband to all of Ireland, the ending of the current National Broadband supports actually reverses any gains already made. Up to €100 million of public money was spent to enable 3 Ireland upgrade their infrastructure across the State. And now - with the ending of the scheme - rural Ireland must either pay substantially more for totally inadequate service. Once again, people pay and big business wins.
"This is just the latest in a series of Government attacks on people living in rural areas. The closure of Garda stations and Post Offices; rundown of hospital and community based health services; failure to support emigrants who would love to work at home; reducing income of beef farmers; dismantling of County Leadership Partnerships and other community-based voluntary organizations are a damning indictment of Governments response to the crisis that is rural Ireland.
"Government makes great promises to the people of Ireland, but the only actual delivery appears to be the threat of electricity pylons, industrial scale wind turbines and - worst of all - the imminent threat of Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) to destroy our landscape, our health and our agri-food and tourism industries. What a legacy for future generations of Irish people" concluded Deputy Colreavy.