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Leo’s lofty promises don’t trickle down to rural Ireland – Rose Conway-Walsh

1 February, 2018 - by Rose Conway-Walsh

Sinn Féin Seanad group leader, Senator Rose Conway-Walsh,  has said that the promises of Leo Varadkar’s ‘republic of opportunity' are not trickling down to rural Ireland.

Speaking after An Taoiseach addressed the Seanad for the first time, the Mayo Senator said:

“I didn’t get any sense at all that the Taoiseach understands how rural Ireland is being left behind. I stressed to him that I am not trying to portray rural Ireland as all doom and gloom, rather I wanted to point out the opportunities that are being lost day and daily due to the terrible state of infrastructure.

"Jobs, businesses, tourism and agriculture are suffering because of poor broadband and mobile phone connectivity, the terrible state of roads and other key services lagging well behind other parts of the country.

"Broadband is a point in case due to the setback yesterday with Eir pulling out of the tendering process. I told the Taoiseach that the crisis in broadband did not start yesterday.

"The National Planning Framework is due to be published in the coming weeks. From the draft that we in Sinn Féin have seen there is to be very little change in the current model of building up the greater Dublin region, and hoping the rest of the country will benefit somehow, sometime in the future.

"We need infrastructure now.

"Without it we will stand still at worst and see the return of the worst days of emigration and unemployment.

"I told An Taoiseach that Sin Féin inside and outside of Leinster House are here to aid the recovery of rural Ireland but it is up to him to recognise the seriousness of where we are at and then to commit to action backed up by funding.

"I will use every opportunity from here on to remind him, every day if necessary, of the need to do this."

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