Major investment needed in West and north-west regions says local TD

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Galway daily news Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil leaders agree on framework for government

Roscommon-Galway TD Claire Kerrane has called for a significant investment package from Government for the West of Ireland.

Deputy Kerrane raised the matter with the Minister for Rural Development in the Dáil this week, flagging the need for positive discrimination in the region.

She also said that there must be an introduction of a rural-proofing mechanism to ensure communities in the West and north-west do not fall any further behind.

CSO data highlighted by the Northern & Western Regional Assembly (NWRA) shows that regional inequalities continue to rise in Ireland.

The NRWA said that this is due to a lack of investment in infrastructure, a weak urban structure, a below average proportion of high valued jobs and an under-investment in research and development.

Deputy Kerrane, with her exchange with Minister Heather Humphreys in the Dáil, said that the utilisation of a rural-proofing mechanism would ensure that Government decisions do not disproportionately impact rural communities.

“The experience of the West and North West Region demonstrates how government policies can seriously impact rural regions, so it is clear that policy decisions must be rural-proofed to promote regional equality,” the Sinn Féin TD said.

“We now need urgent investment and commitment to rural-proofing policies from Government. We need a regional stimulus package for the West and North West Region and a policy of positive discrimination if we are to reverse this seriously alarming trend.”