Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Rural, Community, and Gaeltacht Affairs and Party Deputy Leader Dara Calleary TD has said the latest CSO figures confirm that the government is leaving Rural Ireland behind with regard to service provision.

The CSO data published today on Measuring Distance to Everyday Services in Ireland makes for very sobering reading.

Deputy Calleary said, “Rural dwellers face distances that are at least three times greater for most services compared with their urban counterparts. Meanwhile, for a supermarket/convenience store, pharmacy and a GP, the average distance for rural residents to travel was about seven times longer.

“People in rural Ireland are facing longer commuting hours to get to work. However, the distances they must travel to a medical facility or a 24-hour Garda station are much more pronounced than in urban areas.

“These statistics are alarming and show how the government is failing to deliver public policy solutions that improve service provision and make living in rural Ireland attractive. What is most disappointing is the fact these figures are unsurprising. Under Fine Gael rural Ireland has been abandoned. The figures released today only highlight this. 

“It is clear that the government’s much referenced action plan is not delivering, and Minister Ring must explain what steps will be taken to rectify the “imbalance” to use his own words across the country,” concluded Deputy Calleary.