Before any decision is finalised by the Government it should be 'rural proofed', with its potential effects on rural communities analysed and considered before implementation.
This is the view of Sinn Féin Connemara candidate Kevin O’Hara, who said the concept of 'rural proofing' decisions should be introduced in order to "support the development and sustainability of rural communities".
Mr O'Hara said one the most notable features in Irish politics since the foundation of the State, was the centralisation of power into the large cities, in particular Dublin.
"The policies of successive governments has greatly weakened rural communities," he said. "People in rural communities have never expected support from the State and in return have received even less. This is evident throughout Conamara, where potholes go unfilled and essential infrastructure, such as sewage, water, transport and broadband are given minimal thought or planning. The State cannot even ensure proper long-term transport to the Aran Islands and the fishing harbour of Ros a’Mhíl is decimated.”
As a result he is calling for Government to change its attitude to rural Ireland and to carefully consider the effects of major policy decisions on the land and the people.