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Government needs to act on balanced regional development – Doherty

8 July, 2009 - by Pearse Doherty TD


Sinn Féin Regional Development Spokesperson Senator Pearse Doherty has welcomed a call for the Government to address the problem of unbalanced regional development in a report from Friend First Chief Economist Jim Power. Senator Doherty, author of the report, ‘Awakening the West: Overcoming Social and Economic Inequality’, said the report should help to focus the Government’s attention on harsh economic realities in the regions caused by years of bad development policies.

Speaking today Senator Doherty said, “I welcome the frank recognition, contained in this report, of unbalanced and unfair development throughout the regions, particularly in the West, North West and the Midlands.

“The West has suffered the withdrawal and downgrading of vital services, such as public transport, post offices and Garda Services. As a result of the systematic undermining of our public hospitals these communities have endured a loss of vital health services. The destruction and collapse of traditional employment sectors, such the textile and fishing industries, coupled with the exodus of small farmers from the land has resulted in depopulation and led to unemployment and poverty.

“The report should help to focus the Government’s attention on harsh economic realities in the regions caused by years of bad development policies.

“I hope this report, along with the Oireachtas Committee report which I compiled on inequalities in the West will serve as a call to action to the Government and, by extension, to all those who care about the survival of regional and rural Ireland and equality between the regions.” ENDS

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