Gerry Adams commended the organisers of the ploughing championships which have again attracted huge crowds.
The Sinn Féin leader described the announcement today by the government of £6 million a year for rural Ireland as “derisory and insufficient to meet the needs of rural dwellers and communities. The announcement is pure PR spin. It’s enough to buy a media headline but is meaningless in making a difference to rural Ireland.”
Teachta Adams said:
“Rural communities and small farmers have borne the brunt of bad government policy for almost five years, including the policy of forced emigration. Given that 70% of our citizens live in rural Ireland the government needs to rural proof its decisions and provide proper investment.
Government policy has forced the closure of Garda stations, leaving citizens and communities vulnerable to crime; schools have been closed and most towns and villages are blighted with boarded up shops.
Following a focussed dialogue with rural Ireland involving thousands of people Sinn Féin produced a detailed report outlining measures we would take to rejuvenate rural Ireland and build sustainable communities.
- Regenerating rural towns
- Keeping open post offices, libraries, Garda stations and other public services
- Addressing the business rates
- Prioritising the roll out of high speed broadband.
There are of course many other issues impacting on rural Ireland that must be also addressed, including rural equality, additional supports for dairy farmers, opposition to TTIP and all-Ireland labelling.”