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Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh - Rural Ireland - Ard Fheis 2012

26 May, 2012


Rural Ireland occupies a special place in the hearts of the Irish. Our history is intensely bound up with the land, and it was through the struggle for the land, that our people regained our pride and self-confidence.

Despite all the changes that have taken place in Ireland in recent times, most of us are still only a generation or two from a farmhouse and rural communities still represent a huge proportion of our population.
But rural communities are facing an unprecedented and unrelenting attack from the Dublin Government.

Tá pobail a bhí beo, bríomhar, ina scáilbhailte anois. Tá an bhearna idir saibhir & daibhir ag fás agus níl ceist ar bith ach go bhfuil rialtaisí leanúnacha freagrach as seo. Tá siopaí agus gnónna a bhí gnóthach agus rachmasach, tar éis dúnadh de bharr an ghéarchéim eacnamaíochta, agus tá bailte tar éis oifigí poist, staisiúin Gardaí, agus fiú amháin foirne iomlán peile a chailliúint.
Tá an daonra ag titim. Gach seachtain cailltear rabharta eile de dhaoine óga, atá ag fágail na bailte dúchais le dul go dtí na príomhbhailte - nó níos faide i gcéin, go dtí an Bhreatain, go Ceanada, an Astráil agus eile.

Successive Governments have neglected rural communities through a lack of investment in infrastructure, social services and education. This Government, far from reversing this trend, have accelerated it. They are taking away teachers from rural schools, closing rural Garda stations, without a care for the communities, and they have taken no action to create employment in rural areas.

Mar phoblachtánaithe, oibrímid ar son Éireann ina bhfuil an ceart agus an chomhionnas ag a chroílár. Ní chóir go mbeadh tionchar ag an áit inar rugadh tú, ar an soláthar Oideachas, ar an gcúram slándála, nó ar an gcaighdeán sláinte atá ar fáil duit. Caithfimid, mar sin, cur i gcoinne an ionsaí dochreidte seo ar an tuath agus oibriú leis na pobail, chun cur i gcoinne na gciorraithe, cur i gcoinne an easpa fostaíochta agus cur i gcoinne an imirce atá dár mbánú.

Sin ráite, ní mór dom treáslú leis an Aire Talmhaíochta agus Forbartha Tuaithe sa Tuaisceart, Michelle O’Neill MLA, agus Michelle Gildernew MLA, as a gcuid oibre le blianta beage anuas ag tabhairt tacaíocht do phobail tuaithe an Tuaisceart. Tá siadsan agus foireann uilig Shinn Féin sa tionóil, tár éis tús áite a thabhairt i gconaí dóibh siúd faoin dtuath atá faoi míbhuntáiste, cuma cén cúlra atá acu.

Over the next few weeks and months I, along with my Kerry culchie colleague Martin Ferris TD, will be travelling the highways and byways of this island and meeting the ordinary people of rural Ireland, to hear their concerns.

We will be doing so to formulate a plan, a policy roadmap for the future of rural Ireland - because Sinn Féin believe in Rural Ireland. We believe that with the right attitude within the rural community and with the right response from those in authority, rural Ireland has a vibrant and prosperous future ahead of it.
Tógfaimid an tuath, as an nua, agus is ar scáth a chéile a dhéanfar sin a chairde.

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Photos

Mary Lou McDonald and Cathal King