Local Sinn Féin TD Kathleen Funchion is not impressed with
the Government’s ‘Our Rural Future’ plan.
She describes it as short of ambition and timeless.
“There is an absence of concrete measures to create jobs and deliver investment.”
In a nutshell she says any jobs’ plan simply won’t work.
“Rural Ireland has been neglected by Government after Government for decades and it is time that our towns, villages and rural communities are listened to instead of being ignored,” she blasted.
The Callan woman said the ‘Our Rural Future’ policy paper, lauded as a plan to save rural Ireland was a mere rehash of previous announcements and was symbolic of a lack of Government vision for rural communities.
“It is disappointing that the report fails to give timelines. There is no mention of new funding.
“Rural families deserve more than vague promises; they need to see real action and delivery.
‘WE NEED JOBS IN TOWNS AND VILLAGES’
“I will press Government to ensure concrete timelines for delivery as well as increased funding.
“The policy focuses on remote working but we need to look beyond that.
“To achieve long term, sustainable change beyond the pandemic, we need to see jobs based in towns, villages and rural communities as well as remote working options.”
She said people must be at the heart of any plans and making sure that people living in rural communities have the same opportunities to prosper was a key part of that.
“The plan acknowledges the need for public services, but the recent closure of what may be the only bank branch in many rural areas is a stark contrast to this ambition.
“It’s time to stand up for our towns, villages and rural communities to ensure people get the resources, funding and opportunities they are entitled to,” she told Kilkenny Press.