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Rebuilding Rural Ireland

Rural Ireland has long suffered from a lack of support and investment. Sinn Féin believes in harnessing what rural Ireland has to offer rather than looking at how it can be targeted for cuts. We believe in vibrant and resourced rural communities that have equality of access to essential services such as schools, healthcare, post offices and policing.

Sinn Féin supports the community spirit and way of life that is characteristic of rural Ireland, and we believe that through utilising the unique offering of rural Ireland and its people that sustainable rural economies can be built offer meaningful employment opportunities to rural dwellers, including expansion of the agricultural and fishing industries.  

In government, Sinn Féin has overseen the launch of the ‘Rural White Paper Action Plan’ to ensure cross-departmental activity in tackling rural poverty and social isolation, and to make Executive proposals in relation tourism, recreation, rural employment, food production, and the conservation of our cultural heritage and the environment a major priority.

This discussion document is the culmination of a year-long series of grassroots community engagements and consultation across rural Ireland led by the Sinn Féin leadership as part of it's 'Defending Rural Ireland' campaign.

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I am delighted to be able to present this report to the Committee. It is the fruit of much work in consultation with a wide range of people involved in the farming and fishing sector. As such it represents an accurate picture of both the current state of the rural economy, particularly in the West, and of the sort of strategies needed to move us forward.

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Download a PDF of Sinn Féin's “Awakening the West - Overcoming Social and Economic Inequality”.

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