MEP Matt Carthy to address Strokestown meeting tonight on challenges facing rural areas

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Reporter:

Leitrim Observer Reporter

MEP Matt Carthy

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy will address a public meeting in Strokestown tonight, Thursday, February 15, on Sinn Féin proposals to tackle neglect of rural Ireland.

Speaking in advance of the meeting, which will also be addressed by Sinn Féin’s Roscommon representative Claire Kerrane, said rural Ireland is under attack as never before.

Carthy said: “The current Fine Gael Government has effectively abandoned rural Ireland, especially western counties. Rural schools, Garda stations and post offices have been closed at an alarming rate. Meanwhile small and medium business have been starved of credit and neglected by the Government so that many rural towns are simply dying on their feet.

"Successive governments have made living in rural Ireland more difficult. They have cut rural transport programmes, raised costs for private car users and inflicted cuts on Bus Éireann and Iarnród Éireann. There is now a major threat to 800 more post office branches across the state. This cannot continue.

"Sinn Féin has a vision for rural Ireland as a sustainable place to live and work, where the quality of life is matched by the quality of public services. This includes a policy commitment to keep rural post offices, libraries and Garda stations open and to maintain services that connect people with their local towns.

"Myself and Clare Kerrane will address these and other issues at our meeting in Strokestown this Thursday. I would encourage local people to come along and contribute their own experiences and ideas, so that together we can begin the fightback on behalf of the west of Ireland and rural communities in general.”

Tonight's meeting takes place at 8pm in the Percy French Hotel, Strokestown.