Local TD calls for crucial protections for rural communities

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galway daily news claire kerrane at dáil

A local TD has called on the Government to bring forward crucial protections for rural communities.

The call from Roscommon-Galway TD Claire Kerrane follows the publication of the Department of Rural and Community Development’s annual report.

Deputy Kerrane said that while there has been increased funding from the Department, the report underlines several areas where important measures must be put in place to adequately support rural areas.

She welcomed the investment in services and schemes, but said that there is an absence of key measures which would ‘underpin the revitalisation’ of rural communities.

“For example, while it is positive that Minister Humphreys has launched working hubs in communities across the state, the legislation to ensure those living in rural areas have the right to use these facilities and to work remotely remains absent,” said Deputy Kerrane.

“Similarly, although the report discusses the need to support our Islands, we are still waiting for the Minister to launch her long-awaited Islands Strategy.”

The Sinn Féin TD said that the contents of this strategy are important for setting out exactly how the government intends to provide this support to Island communities over the next decade.

“I know from engagement with organisations like Comhdháil Oileáin na hÉireann, and those living in island communities, that the detail of the strategy really matters. So far, we are seeing little detail on what the strategy will entail.

“As well as this, the ‘Our Rural Future’ strategy clearly sets out intentions to develop a ‘rural-proofing’ model, to ensure the needs of rural communities are considered in the development of government policies.”