Offaly politician says rural Ireland is being discriminated against
RENUA Ireland leader Cllr. John Leahy has claimed Rural Ireland is being discriminated against to such an extent that "we need a policy of positive discrimination in favour of the countryside."
Commenting on the gathering revolt against the National Framework Plan Leahy said, "Rural Ireland now needs a political enforcer. The Dublin mandarin and political elite has failed rural Ireland for decades."
"We need a minister who specifically protects rural Ireland at the cabinet table and that minister should be the Tánaiste. Obviously, we don’t want the current Tánaiste to take on the job, but we are hopeful Fine Gael can find someone somewhere in their ranks who knows something about rural Ireland and might be effective," the Offaly councillor added.
He says that such a ministerial enforcer should prioritise the following:
- Defending the right of rural people to build homes on their ancestral lands
- Driving broadband forwards in a manner like rural electrification
- Building primary care centres across the country
- Building community crèche facilities
- Creating jobs and opportunity
- Wake up leader and the rest of our rusting rural advocacy groups.
- Chasing criminals out of the country
- Tourist development
- Developing the rural Ireland equivalent of the IDA to create a series of key investment hubs across the Border Midlands region
"Councils should also be given responsibility to ensure that a ‘jobs first’ policy is provided and followed in areas such as local rates, water charges and the completion of ultra-fast fibre broadband networks encompassing all major towns and villages," John continued.
"This government may have forgotten rural Ireland, but RENUA Ireland can assure them that rural Ireland hasn’t forgotten them," he concluded.
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