Fianna Fáil TD for Galway West Éamon Ó Cuív says he’s very disappointed at the very small allocation of places on the Rural Social Scheme for the west Connemara community and development company, FORUM Connemara.

Deputy Ó Cuív explained, “Recently 14 extra places were allocated to FORUM Connemara on the Rural Social Scheme, which brings the total amount of places on the scheme for the whole of the non-Gaeltacht part of Connemara, to only 36.

“We need access a lot more places on the Rural Social Scheme in west Connemara to cope with demand.  County Galway has the third highest number of farmers in receipt of Farm Assist in the country at 659, and every one of these is entitled to apply for a place on the RSS.  However, the places are simply not available.  In fact, there are not enough places by half.

“A large number of the farmers who receive Farm Assist live in the Connemara area and the allocation of places on the Rural Social Scheme should be much higher than 36.

“Additional places must be made available to FORUM Connemara, and I will be arguing that any places which have not been taken up by other companies should be transferred.

“Companies have been given until the 1st of September to take up their allocation.  This deadline needs to be adhered to and I am calling on the Minister for Employment Affairs to transfer any unfilled places to companies experiencing a higher demand”.