Rural towns and villages have suffered inordinately from the crash and have not recovered – Kenny
Sinn Féin Agriculture spokesperson Martin Kenny TD has said that the publication of the Pobal Deprivation Index bore out what everyone in rural Ireland knows; that successive governments have neglected and ignored rural towns and villages which suffered inordinately from the economic crash and have seen no recovery.
Deputy Kenny said:
“Emigration, unemployment, under-employment, loss of services and poverty are still common in rural towns and villages, where the visual evidence of recession is clear and present.
“The lack of infrastructure, no public transport, little or no broadband, and severely curtailed emergency services are the norm and there is little sign of the recovery which the FF-FG coalition likes to talk about every day in the Dáil.
“I proposed measures as part of the National Planning Framework consultation which would nurture economic activity in rural areas, like support of small enterprise, especially those with low carbon output, as an essential element in the sustainability of rural communities.
“Supporting sustainable agriculture and food sector especially in achieving a fair and viable price for the primary producers are essential to the survival of the family farm, which in turn is essential to the prosperity of rural towns and villages.
“I am sick and tired of listening to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael paying lip service to rural Ireland, and standing idly by while research such as this shows that deprivation is worse in the rural areas which are farther from major towns and that the level of deprivation is increasing outside cities. In fact, it is a key finding of this index that small towns with a population of between 1,000 and 5,000 have been inordinately affected by the recession and have not seen any recovery.”