Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon-Galway, Eugene Murphy, says the Government’s refusal to allocate money under the CLÁR programme for maintenance work on non-county roads is another example of people in rural Ireland being treated like second-class citizens.
In a response to a parliamentary question posed by Fianna Fáil, Minister for State Michael Ring said: “I do not envisage that the CLÁR programme will fund a similar scheme for improvements to local non-county roads in 2017.”
In response, Deputy Murphy said: “This is deeply disappointing and frustrating for hundreds of communities across rural Ireland. Since the last Government abolished the Local Improvement Scheme and the CLÁR scheme, both of which were assisting with the upgrade of non-county roads leading to houses, there has been a serious deterioration in the quality of these routes.
"Many people are being forced to travel on sub-standard roads to get to and from their homes. I had hoped that Minister Ring, following his appointment as Minister for Rural Affairs, would recognise the importance of co-funding non-county roads and ensure that they were made a priority.
“These important programmes must be allocated the necessary funding to make improvements to the non-county road network. The CLÁR scheme, which was established by Fianna Fáil, helps the most isolated and rural communities, and I am urging Minister Ring to recognise the importance of the work that is carried out under its remit.”