Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Regional Development, Rural Affairs and the Gaeltacht Éamon Ó Cuív says the new spending plan published by the Department of Public Expenditure spells trouble for rural communities and those involved in the arts sector.

Deputy Ó Cuív made the comments after it was revealed that €150m will be removed from the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs over the next three years.

“The new spending allocation for the department is woefully inadequate. It’s astonishing to think that the Fine Gael intend on slashing funding for rural communities given the difficulties faced by people living in isolation. Fine Gael have also insisted that they stand by the arts community, but these new figures show that they have scant regard for the sector,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

“It’s well acknowledged that our expenditure on the arts, heritage, Gaeltacht and rural affairs is totally inadequate and is hindering the development of these communities. However instead of strengthening funding to address the issue the Government is instead proposing a severe cutback.

“Fianna Fáil remains fully committed to these communities and I will be pressing Minister Humphreys to spell out how exactly she intends on adequately supporting them considering the proposed cutbacks.”