Speaking from the Tullow show in Minister Ann Phelan’s Carlow/Kilkenny constituency today Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh called on the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture to ensure that this year’s budget is rural proofed.
Senator Ó Clochartaigh said;
"The policies of this government have devestated rural areas - the closure of garda stations and rural schools, cuts to rural transport, the threat to local development companies and a lack of targets for job creation in rural areas are all impacting negatively on rural Ireland.
"Government policy needs to be rural-proofed. Decisions should be examined before being put into effect, to ensure that they do not adversely impact on rural areas and that they actually are to the advantage of rural Ireland.
"The aim must be to keep the maximum number of people on the land and to preserve the social fabric of rural life.
"Sinn Féin believes that sustainable rural economies, that can offer employment to young people, can be built. We want to ensure that emigration should not be the future for your children.
"There needs to be a fair deal for rural households, job opportunities in rural Ireland, protection for rural schools, equal access to health services, support for Gaeltacht areas and proper management and exploitation of natural resources.
“Minister Phelan must ensure that this year’s budget is rural proofed.”