Fianna Fáil has today launched “A Manifesto for Rural Ireland” – a comprehensive policy document that provides a credible plan to support the development of rural parish communities and balanced regional development.

Launched by party Spokesperson on Agriculture & Food Éamon Ó Cuív and Spokesperson on Community Affairs Bobby Aylward, the document sets out key reforms and proposals that Fianna Fáil will implement in government. These measures will directly improve service provision, infrastructure and employment opportunities in rural Ireland.

Deputy Ó Cuív commented, “Fianna Fáil has put forward a credible plan with practical costed solutions to reverse the 5 years of unfair government attacks on rural Ireland across many areas. Our vision centres on ensuring that rural Ireland is given the same employment and economic opportunities that have been afforded to other areas”.

Key policy commitments that we will implement in government include:

– Reinstate a senior rural ministry and introduce a community services guarantee.
– Create 30,000 jobs in rural Ireland.
– Provide top quality infrastructure; roads, water, sewerage
– Maintain rural GP cover and increase GP’s rural practice allowance.
– Restore the pupil teacher ratio in small schools & improve school transport services.
– Provide universal fibre broadband and mobile phone coverage.

“The government’s recently published rural charter proposes nothing other than a talking shop.  After five years in power, their record on rural Ireland is shameful”, added Deputy Ó Cuív.

Deputy Aylward explained, “Fine Gael and Labour have introduced a series of measures that have adversely impacted rural Ireland. With Garda station closures, farm assist cuts and small schools under threat, rural Ireland has been singled out by this government for a range of regressive cuts.

“Meanwhile the two tier recovery is leaving behind parts of the country already badly affected by the recession. The government’s decisions are ultimately damaging the appeal of living and working in rural areas.

“Fianna Fáil is fully committed to an Ireland for all – a balanced and fair recovery, delivering jobs and growth to all communities; ensuring every citizen has the same opportunity to prosper irrespective of geographic location”.

Manifesto for Rural Ireland