Deputy Martin Kenny
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice and Equality Martin Kenny TD has said that anyone living in rural Ireland knows how the government feels about them after the announcement of the new Cabinet, which doesn't include a single Cabinet Minister from Limerick to Donegal, but six from Dublin.
He said: “We knew from the publication of the Programme for Government that rural Ireland is not regarded by this new government. In a glaring example of this, the section on 'Balanced Regional Development' begins with the statement that such development is critical to reduce pressure on Greater Dublin.
“Now we find that the government department of Rural and Community Development is to be scaled back and the same Minster will be responsible for social protection. Does this indicate that funding for developing rural Ireland is regarded the same as assistance to the most vulnerable?
“Then, in the most glaring example of the neglect of rural Ireland we see that there is not a single Cabinet Minister along the western seaboard from Limerick to Donegal. By contrast there are six in Dublin.
“I was proud to vote against this Cabinet and it was very disappointing to see a so-called independent candidate, Marian Harkin, from this constituency, who stood for election on a platform of defending rural Ireland, not only vote for Micheál Martin for Taoiseach, but then to vote in favour of this Dublin-centric Cabinet which is sorely lacking in any regard for those of us west of the Shannon.”