Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Clare Cllr. Cathal Crowe says new CSO data further emphasises the gap which has emerged between urban and rural communities under Fine Gael.

The Measuring Distance to Everyday Services in Ireland revealed that one quarter of people in Clare live more than 50km from an Emergency Department, while one in three live more than 10km from a fire station.

Cllr. Crowe said, “These figures make for very sobering reading and outline the clear gap which exists for people living in rural and urban areas. It outlines what the rest of us have all known for some time – Fine Gael has left rural Ireland behind.

“People living in rural areas have to travel longer distances for basic services, with the average trip to a supermarket/convenience store, pharmacy and GP seven times longer for rural residents compared to their urban counterparts.

“These statistics, while shocking, are unsurprising to people living in Clare. They are well aware of the government’s failure to provide or retain basic services in rural areas.

“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 Cllr. Crowe.