Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Rural, Community, and Gaeltacht Affairs and Party Deputy Leader Dara Calleary TD has said that the latest information he has collated on key rural schemes shows how this Fine Gael led government is not delivering for rural Ireland.

Deputy Calleary commented, “From a number of parliamentary questions I have received over €60million is unspent to date on rural schemes from funds allocated in 2017 and 2018. These include the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure scheme; Town & Village Renewal scheme; CLÁR and the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS).

“The much-vaunted Town & Village Renewal scheme has still nearly a third of its funds from 2017 unspent (€6.8m). Despite €21.3m being allocated to the scheme for 2018, only €50,000 has issued in actual payments to projects seven months on from its launch.

“The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure scheme is key to developing rural recreational facilities, yet half of the 2017 budget is still unspent. Taking the last two years together, over €25m has still not been spent.

“The government are failing to deliver on an array of rural schemes as the evidence shows. The recent project expenditure figures for the LEADER programme (80% underspend) is a further example of this out of touch Dublin centric administration.

“The government, led by the Taoiseach, take more pride in making announcements than actually delivering for people in rural parishes nationwide.

“With the local elections approaching, people in rural Ireland will adjudicate on the government’s abject record that prioritises spin over substance at every opportunity,” concluded Deputy Calleary.