Fine Gael will ensure that rural Ireland has a 21st Century Future – Michael Ring

-   Fine Gael Press Office

  • National Broadband Plan biggest investment in rural Ireland since rural electrification

  • What is Fianna Fáil stance on the rollout of broadband?

 

Fine Gael in government have secured the National Broadband Plan, which will rollout high speed broadband to the 1.1 million people mainly living in rural Ireland who would otherwise have been left behind.

Speaking at the launch of Fine Gael’s Rural Development Plan in Co.Tipperary today with the Tánaiste Simon Coveney and candidates Mary Newman Julian and Garret Ahern, Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring said:

“Rural Ireland must have the access to the same opportunities as those living in urban areas. We have signed the broadband contract. We have refused to leave rural Ireland behind. No other party can say the same. All they have offered the people of rural Ireland is delays and fudges.

“The National Broadband Plan will secure high speed broadband to 1.1million people- over half a million premises across the country –meaning every home, farm and business in the country will have access to this vital service.

“This investment will open up access to massive opportunities – in e-learning, remote monitoring of livestock and equipment, e-health initiatives, better energy efficiency in the home and more remote working. €145m will be invested in Mayo to rollout the service from Achill Island to Drummin. Fine Gael is delivering for rural Ireland while others have offered only barriers.”

“Fianna Fáil played politics with the National Broadband Plan in the Dáil and were happy for rural Ireland to wait if political points could be scored. We now need to know what Fianna Fáil will do on broadband if they are elected to government. Will they swallow their pride and do the right thing for rural Ireland by implementing the plan? Or will they continue to play politics. The people of rural Ireland deserve to know.”

ENDS

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Notes for Editor

Other initiatives in Fine Gael’s rural Ireland plan include:

    • 2023 as  the Year of the Invitation – building on the success of The Gathering
    • €1billion investment in job creation in rural areas and to deliver improvements in our towns and villages
    • Prioritising investment decisions which will ensure 50% of future population growth occurs in our towns, villages and rural communities.
    • New Remote Working Strategy
    • Implementation of nine regional enterprise plans
    • New Dark Skies Strategy for Ireland
    • Establishment of a Rural Youth Assembly
    • Double the funding of Údarás na Gaeltachta to support Údarás-backed companies that currently employ 8,200 people to grow more jobs
    • A new tourism strategy for Gaeltacht areas
    • Prioritise the work of Údarás in developing the ‘Gaeltacht na hÉireann’’ brand
    • A National Strategy for Volunteering
    • A new National Outdoor Recreation Strategy
    • A dedicated and comprehensive policy for Island Development, based on extensive consultation with island communities
    • A Charter with local authorities to prioritise rural development
    • Measures to support more social enterprises
    • An online portal to streamline grant applications for community groups
    • Supporting community groups to help welcome and integrate newcomers

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