An Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
There has been mixed reaction to the Government's Action Plan for Rural Development announced this afternoon.
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, and the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, launched “Realising our Rural Potential: The Action Plan for Rural Development” today.
They claim the plan is the “first ever whole-of-government strategy aimed at delivering real change for people living and working in rural Ireland”
The Plan contains 276 actions across five key pillars including: Supporting Sustainable Communities, Supporting Enterprise and Employment, Maximising our Rural Tourism and Recreation Potential, Fostering Culture and Creativity in Rural Communities, Improving Rural Infrastructure and Connectivity.
Donegal TD, Deputy Thomas Pringle called the initiative “insincere as post offices and other services in rural Ireland continue to be undermined by the Government”.
He added: “It really does beggars belief how a Government could claim it will revive rural Ireland at the same time it continues to undermine vital rural services like Post Offices, expressway bus services, mobile coverage and a Broadband Plan that has been postponed on several occasions.
“The €60m allocated to the Rural Plan will be spread very thinly, leaving under €2m per county. That kind of money will do nothing to address the persistent problems arising from chronic underinvestment in Donegal,” he stated.
Director of Oideas Gael and former Donegal person of the Year, Liam Ó Cuinneagáin, said the announcement should be welcomed.
He stated: “The Action Plan is hugely ambitious and challenging and the acceptance that improved health services and better security and safety should be addressed as core issues is essential.
“Creating jobs and supporting enterprise and employment is also a core issue and consideration should be given to extending the remit of Údarás na Gaeltachta to rural areas outside of the Gaeltacht. The expertise and experience is there to take on the challenge for a period of years,” he added.