Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Regional, Rural, Gaeltacht & Island Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív says he’s extremely disappointed that the Government is refusing to allocate money under the CLÁR programme for essential maintenance work on non-county roads.

In a response to Deputy Ó Cuív, Minister for State Michael Ring said, “I do not envisage that the CLÁR programme will fund a similar scheme for improvements to local non-county roads in 2017”.

“This is deeply disappointing and frustrating for hundreds of communities across rural Ireland.  Since the last Government abolished the Local Improvement Scheme and the CLÁR scheme, both of which were assisting with the upgrade of non-county roads leading to houses, there has been a serious deterioration in the quality of these routes.  Many people are being forced to travel on sub-standard roads to get to and from their homes”, explained Deputy Ó Cuív.

“I had hoped that Minister Ring, following his appointment as Minister for Rural Affairs, would recognise the importance of co-funding non-county roads and ensure that they were made a priority.

“I am calling on Minister Ring to reassess his position and to ensure that these important programmes are allocated the necessary funding to make improvements to the non-county road network.  The CLÁR scheme, which I established, helps the most isolated and rural communities, and I am urging Minister Ring to recognise the importance of the work that is carried out under its remit”.