The “failure” of the Department of Rural Development to spend funding that is “vital to the development of rural Ireland” is “inexcusable”, according to Fianna Fáil Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív.
According to Dep Ó Cuív €72 million in Department funding remains unspent on developing rural projects, and the TD, who is also FF spokesperson on Regional, Rural, Gaeltacht & Island Affairs, said the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, should be “called before” the Oireachtas Rural Committee to explain his “ongoing failure to spend Department funding”.
The Cornamona based TD said the Department was allocated €88 million in capital expenditure this year. However it emerged that by the end of last month, just €16 million had been spent. This means that 20 per cent of the funding has been spent with two thirds of the year gone.
“Rural communities up and down this country are in desperate need of investment and yet this Government continues to neglect its development,” said Dep Ó Cuív. “Minister Ring should be working actively to ensure this vital funding is allocated in time to ensure full spend each year but instead he is turning a blind eye to the important task at hand. This inaction is firm proof of the Government’s lack of commitment to rural Ireland which is all about rhetoric and little about action.”