Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon-Galway says people in Ballinasloe were delighted to meet the Fianna Fáil Leader this week and chat with him about the issues that are important to them.  Micheál Martin visited Ballinasloe on Wednesday to meet businesses and local people as part of a constituency visit to the Roscommon-Galway constituency.

Deputy Murphy explained, “This visit provided a great opportunity for Micheál Martin to come down to Ballinasloe, meet people and have them tell him first-hand about the issues that they want to see addressed.  Unsurprisingly broadband was one of the main issues that came up time and time again.  The lack of high speed broadband is a major bone of contention for people in and around the town and there is a lot of anger in the business community over the fact that under the government’s National Broadband Plan, it could be another five years before all homes and businesses have access to what is an essential service.

“Despite having a Minister at the Cabinet table, Roscommon and east Galway has been forgotten by this government.  Ballinasloe used to be a thriving town, and while it is slowly getting back on its feet, its more as a result of the tenacity of local businesses and community groups, than any government initiatives.  There is still a serious problem with commercial rates.  Fianna Fáil has been pressing for movement on this issue and brought forward the Valuation (Amendment Bill) 2017 last year to address the very serious problems being experienced by small and medium businesses.

“Unfortunately, Ballinasloe’s potential is not being met.  It’s an ideal distance to commute to Galway city, but the government has not invested the necessary infrastructure to make it feasible.  It has also neglected the area in terms of IDA site visits and promotion.  Fianna Fáil wants to see more balanced regional development – the last 7 years have seen a massive investment drive in the Greater Dublin area to the detriment of western and midlands counties.  This trend needs to be addressed.

“At the heart of spreading economic growth and opportunities is the need to revitalise our towns and villages – to make them vital economic and social hubs for the surrounding areas.

“The engagement with local people this week was very informative and the issues raised will feed into our upcoming policies.  Fianna Fáil is committed to ensuring that all parts of Ireland benefit from the recovery, not just urban centres and we want to see towns like Ballinasloe thrive again”.