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Ferris: Numbers Wishing to Move West is Positive

29 August, 2006


The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Rural Development, Martin Ferris TD, has said that a survey conducted by the Western Development Commission indicating a high level of interest among people in moving west is a positive sign. He also stated that such enthusiasm needs to be built upon in order to encourage greater decentralisation of employment.

The Kerry North TD said: "Given the difficulties surrounding the Government's decentralisation programme, this survey indicates that a more proactive approach could yield large dividends both in terms of encouraging economic growth in the western counties and alleviating the pressure on resources in the large urban centres.

"As the survey indicates there is a large pool of skilled young people available to work in areas such as new technology. It is incumbent on the state, therefore, to encourage more firms to move there. I know from my own experience that the potential of Tralee IT and the adjoining technology park has not been adequately developed to this end. The result is that many skilled young people continue to leave North Kerry.

"The current demographic imbalance between the east coast and the rest of the country is not sustainable. The quality of life and balanced development requires that a strategy is put in place that will encourage economic enterprises outside the large urban centres. From that would follow a radical shift in population with, not only people being able to remain in the less developed counties, but people actually leaving the cities to live in the country. In the long-term this would be to the benefit of both urban and rural development."

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