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Conway-Walsh tells Government ‘Bin the Spin and Deliver for Rural Ireland’

7 March, 2018 - by Rose Conway-Walsh

Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has said that the use of advertorials in local rural media shows that the Government cares more for announcements than any real improvements in rural Ireland.

Speaking yesterday as Sinn Féin launched it’s ‘Bin the Spin’ Campaign, Senator Conway-Walsh said:

“People in rural Ireland are already suffering from announcement fatigue.  Projects are announced and promises of jobs and infrastructure hoodwink people into thinking that Governments are going to deliver.

“The launch of Plan 2040 was this on a grand scale. Grand plans have been launched for roads which are still impassable. My fear is that this time next year, people will be reading about re-launches of much of what is in this plan now. The time for branding is over. It is time to act.

“I would more than welcome a story about roads repaired, broadband reaching the thousands of places where it doesn’t exist or local businesses thriving. I am tired, though, of glossy publications and flashy presentations that promise just enough for the Government to get by.

“Local print and broadcast media plays a vital role in the life of rural Ireland. Only last week, we saw how important it is in informing people of rapidly changing weather conditions and their consequences. The Government and the Strategic Communications Department would learn far more about rural Ireland and what is required if they consulted these papers regularly. It is there that they would read of poor roads, non-existent broadband service and farm families struggling with volatile incomes.

“They would also see the fantastic community and voluntary effort that makes up the gaps where the Government has failed.

“The Strategic Communications Unit needs to be disbanded and the fact that the review of the unit is being carried out by a civil servant involved in its setting up is totally unacceptable.” 

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