Plan needed to improve rural areas – Fitzmaurice

Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice, who was re-elected last weekend, has called for a comprehensive plan to be compiled to improve rural Ireland.

  The Independent TD said that, since the election, many parties, including Fianna Fáil, had “latched on to the call for a much-improved deal for rural Ireland”, which he said that he been long advocating for. 

  “But instead of paying lip service to rural Ireland, we have to come up with a comprehensive plan to improve the lot of communities in rural areas,” he said. “There are a long list of issues, including the treatment of small farmers, broadband and mobile phone coverage, rural Garda stations, schools, flood prevention and road repair.

  “There are also issues with regard to the treatment of small businesses, the creation of jobs and opportunity.”

  He said that these matters could only be addressed by the established of a minister for rural affairs, which would be a full cabinet post.

  Deputy Fitzmaurice, a member of the Independent Alliance, added: “This would be a central plank in any negotiations that I would conduct with regard to the formation of a government.”

  The recent election results were evidence that no recovery was being felt in rural areas, a situation that must be addressed immediately, he said.