Deputy Martin Kenny
Sinn Féin’s Agriculture Spokesman, Martin Kenny TD, has introduced a piece of legislation aimed at eliminating discrimination against rural areas by public bodies in respect of measures likely to have a significant socio-economic effect.
Deputy Kenny told the Dáil yesterday: “The issue of inequality that exists in this country is really an issue of ensuring people can live in rural Ireland. To have people living in rural Ireland, we have to have infrastructure in rural Ireland and a development of jobs and opportunity.
“Opportunity can only come if a person is on a platform where they can reach that opportunity. It is true to say that everyone has access to education but for many people living in rural areas across the length and breadth of Ireland, they are not in a position to reach the opportunity that may exist.
“If one looks at the map of the road network, it does not go near the north west at all. It is similar with the rail network - it blocks out huge areas of the country.
“If we are going to invest in the regions and ensure there is opportunity for people living in the regions, we have to make sure we do it everywhere. We have to invest in places where there are low populations at present. If we do not do that, there will never be people living in these areas.”