Rural Ireland and the Gaeltacht deserted by the Budget – Ní Riada
Speaking from Brussels this week in reaction to the Budget, Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has lamented the negligible support shown by the government once again for farming communities, and the Irish language.
Ní Riada said:
“Support for the Irish language has seen virtually no increase and the government seems to completely disregard the twenty year strategy when it comes to funding. At a time when Sinn Féin is pushing strongly for further funding and care of the bedrock of our cultural identity, the government seems content to let the Irish language and Irish speakers fend for themselves.”
“I welcome the introduction of measures to ensure that the transfer of family lands to young farmers is made more viable, however there has been little in this Budget to support the vulnerable farmers who relied upon REPS and the Farm Assist programme who are now faced with an uncertain future when we see the end of milk quotas in the coming year. I also acknowledge the commitment to ensure that Ireland’s marine economy is given the capacity to achieve its full potential; however little in the way of concrete proposals were announced. ”“As part of Sinn Féin’s alternative budget proposal, funds would have been earmarked to support our rural communities, the communities that work the land and have a unique and treasured heritage in Irish society. I am saddened that the government seems unaware of the devastating effects that poverty and emigration have had on rural Ireland and which will continue unless adequate funding is put into schemes to open up rural Ireland and allow for viable livelihoods to be had in homeplaces that are seeing their young people leave by the day.”