Fine Gael will double the funding of Údarás na Gaeltahcta to grow more jobs, the Minister for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands has said.
Seán Kyne, a Fine Gael General Election candidate for Galway West, said: “Our ambitious plan for rural Ireland will build vibrant, well-connected communities.
“Fine Gael is committed to promoting the Irish language and the islands.
“We will double the funding of Údarás na Gaeltachta to support Údarás-backed companies.
“These vital companies currently employ 8,200 people and this funding will grow even more jobs.
“We will also invest in a new tourism strategy for Gaeltacht areas and prioritise the work of Údarás in developing the ‘Gaeltacht na hÉireann’’ brand.
“Fine Gael will also implement a dedicated and comprehensive policy for Island Development, based on extensive consultation with island communities.”
Minister Kyne continued: “Fine Gael will continue to back rural Ireland by creating high quality local jobs, revitalising our towns and villages and connecting our communities.
“Under Project Ireland 2040 we will prioritise investment decisions which will ensure 50% of future population growth happens in our towns, villages and rural areas.
“We will also deliver the National Broadband Plan to ensure that the 1.1 million people living in rural Ireland have the same opportunities to live and work as those in our towns and cities. No other party has a plan for rural broadband.
“Fine Gael will not leave any part of the country behind.
Minister Kyne concluded: “We will also retain the Minister for Rural and Community Development to ensure rural Ireland has a strong voice at the cabinet table.
“A Rural Youth Assembly will also be established to give young people a voice about the future they want to build, and also hold Rural Ideas Fora to help communities make and implement policies for themselves.”