The new Department set up for Community and Rural affairs has been welcomed by the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers association.
The establishment of the new government department and minister has been lauded by the INHFA. The new minister and department will focus on community and rural affairs.
The new Minister for Community and Rural Affairs was announced to be Mr. Michael Ring.
Brendan O’ Malley, spokesperson for the department, outlined why a department solely focussing on rural and community affairs was sought by the INHFA for the past year.
Mr. O’Malley said that “In order to have an impact, and to reverse the decline of Rural Ireland, it is imperative that this Department be properly resourced and have influence in key areas presently covered by other Departments”.
He added “is the immediate roll-out of High Speed Broadband and ensuring the road and rail infrastructure is improved, to meet the needs of businesses and multinationals presently in or looking to relocate to rural Ireland.”
Mr. O’Malley also pointed out other key issues that this new Department need to address.
This includes: the Reversal of cutbacks which have led to the closure Garda stations, post offices etc, Ensuring any rural regeneration program takes into consideration and focuses on smaller areas of population such as villages and townlands as well as rural towns, A simplification of the bureaucracy that seems to be presently strangling the Leader Programme, which, with a very small budget has had a very positive impact in Rural Ireland, and finally an introduction of tax incentives to drive the tourism sector and help build on many of the present positive initiatives such as the Wild Atlantic Way, Ancient East and Lakelands and Inland Waterways.
He concluded by wishing new Minister Michael Ring every success in his role and says he and the group look forward to working with him, and helping him to solve the many issues presently affecting Rural Ireland.