Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD has today confirmed the appointment of Deputy Bobby Aylward as party Spokesperson on Community Affairs.
“Today I have formally appointed Bobby Aylward as Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Community Affairs. Bobby has a proven track record of working hard to represent communities and highlighting the key issues that are impacting on people’s lives,” said Deputy Martin.
“Fine Gael and Labour have seriously undermined community life with the policies they have pursued. They have closed Garda stations, libraries, courthouses, post offices and have allowed other vital community services to deteriorate. Bobby has been to the forefront in highlighting how the fabric of community life has been damaged under this Government.
“This appointment will allow Bobby to continue speaking up on behalf of communities and ensuring their concerns are heard in Dáil Éireann.
Deputy Aylward welcomed the appointment and said he is looking forward to highlighting the most pressing issues facing communities across Ireland.
“I’m honored to have been appointed Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Community Affairs. Since being elected to the Dáil I have been highlighting issues that are having a major impact on communities across Ireland. The housing emergency, cutbacks to Garda resources and the withdrawal of key supports for rural Ireland are perfect examples as to how Fine Gael and Labour have left countless communities behind.
“Under this Government, LEADER companies have been dismantled and stripped of their local autonomy. Funding for the programme has been cut by over 40% to €250 million in contrast to the last programme when Fianna Fáil secured €427 million in LEADER funds.
“In 2011, the Government pledged to deliver fibre broadband to 90% of homes and businesses by 2015 in its Programme for Government. However this commitment has not been delivered on, and Fine Gael and Labour now tell us that we will have to wait until 2021 before this target is met.
“The Rural Social Scheme and Farm Assist Scheme have also been decimated. Local small schools have been subjected to targeted attacks, with dramatic increases in the pupil-teacher ratio.
“Fianna Fáil will be bringing forward key proposals in its General Election manifesto which will seek to protect and enhance community life. We will undo the damage caused to communities across Ireland by Fine Gael and Labour,” said Deputy Aylward.”