Thursday, September 27, 2012
Kelly: Rural Regeneration is a Sinn Féin Priority
Speaking at the today’s National Ploughing Championships in New Ross, Cllr Anthony Kelly has said that rural regeneration is a Sinn Féin priority. Cllr Kelly was part of a delegation, which included Martin McGuinness and the six county Minister for Agriculture Michelle O’ Neill, that met with leaders of the IFA at the annual farming event.
“The regeneration of decimated rural communities must be an absolute priority at this time. All around the state today there are villages and communities that are literally dying from the effects of prolonged austerity. Long term unemployment and debt has been amplified by the disappearance of so many young people who have been forced to emigrate in search of work. Public services have been slashed but struggling families find new taxes coming at them every budget.”
“We have seen schools and garda stations close in rural Wexford this year. The effects of these closures are already apparent as crime rates soar. I know of cases where old age pensioners are staying awake at night and sleeping during the day because they fear somebody will break in to their homes.”
“The regeneration of rural communities could stem these problems and stabilise the local economy. Sinn Féin believes that sustainable rural economies that can offer employment to young people can be built. We believe that the implementation of the correct measures now could stop the brain drain from these communities being caused by emigration and could act as the catalyst for real local economic growth in communities across the state.”
“The EU LEADER fund should be used to help develop much needed facilities for rural communities, facilities that are absence in many of our rural areas in County Wexford. Leisure, cultural, recreational and arts facilities could be developed in these areas. The maintenance and development of public utilities such as roads and street lighting could also be funded.”