Fianna Fáil Deputy, Eugene Murphy, has welcomed the announcement that rural renovation home grants are to be offered to restore properties in small towns and villages as a part of the Government’s long-term Action Plan for Rural Ireland.
However, the Roscommon-Galway TD says there is far more pressing work to do in order to rejuvenate these areas, with an action plan for rural jobs top of the list.
“While I welcome the scheme that is aimed at luring all house buyers, but specifically older people and first-time buyers, back into rural communities that were decimated by unemployment during the recession, unless the Government give us a plan for jobs in rural Ireland it is not enough to ensure the future of our rural villages and towns,” he said.
“The loss of population in rural Ireland is not connected with the lack of housing, it is due to the loss of employment. Therefore, the focus needs to be on job creation so that young people want to stay in rural Ireland or relocate to rural Ireland. The climate in rural Ireland at the moment is unsustainable for many young families as there is little or no investment in job creation. While this is the case there is little hope for the saving of our towns and villages.”