Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South West Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has called on the Communications Minister to stop shirking his responsibilities and complete the actions identified by his own Department’s taskforce to improve mobile coverage in West Cork and across the country.

The Deputy was responding to the latest reply from the Minister of State at the Department of Communications Sean Canney, which confirms that recommendations from the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce, which were first identified in 2016, have still not been implemented.

“Mobile phone coverage is a serious problem the length and breadth of this country. Despite claims by some operators that they provide 90% population coverage, the reality is very different. Even in some urban centres, mobile signals can be weak and drop-outs are a common occurrence”, explained Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.

“It seems completely farcical that in this day and age, and with all the technological advances that have been achieved over the past decade, we still cannot rely on decent mobile phone coverage. The situation in West Cork is particularly bad and it’s not uncommon for mobile users to lose coverage on our main roads and town centres. It’s a ridiculous situation that you might have to call someone two or three times to have a conversation. The whole point of a mobile service is just that – that it’s mobile.

“Other European countries have been able to tackle this issue and we need to learn from their example and ensure a quality service can be provided here. Back in 2016 the government established the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce to examine the problems and identify solutions, and in his reply to me Minister Canney has admitted that over one quarter of the recommendations have still not been implemented.

“I am calling on Minister Bruton – as the line Minister – to stop ignoring the fact that thousands of people are paying for a sub-standard service and to implement the measures identified in his own taskforce’s report to improve coverage for people in West Cork and across the country”.