Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Galway East, Cllr. Donagh Killilea, says a report published from the Northern and Western Assembly Regional Assembly (NWRA) confirms that the government have neglected the western region and requires more investment.

“The report published only confirms what everyone in the West already knows, this Dublin centric government care little for the regions outside of the M50.

“Fine Gael and it’s Ministers are overseeing a regional imbalance as parts of the country boom while large parts of the West are left behind. Galway County has the lowest regional and local road spend at €3,490 per km (vs. 16% higher in East and Midlands). And to add insult to injury, our region has the lowest Health Infrastructure Investment at €57 per head (vs. 2.5 times higher in East & Midlands).

“Achieving balanced regional development will be at the heart of Fianna Fáil policy in government. Too many communities feel left behind by economic progress in urban centres.

“If elected to government my Party colleagues and I are committed to setting up a new specialist IDA/Enterprise unit for rural investment. We will increase LEADER funding for community sectors and fully re-start CLÁR funding.

“Volunteering groups and clubs are a key part of rural Ireland and it is important they are supported. We will increase to €2m the annual budget for the implementation of measures in the Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities Strategy.

“We will focus state agencies in their efforts to attract and retain jobs across the regions. Our vision is a vibrant rural life where families can live and work locally. Currently Commercial vacancy rates of 24% in Tuam! Commercial vacancy rates of 16% in Loughrea and this must change.

“If elected we will implement these policies to combat again the failing policies of the outgoing government toward the West,” concluded Cllr. Killilea.