Longford-Westmeath Independent Deputy, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, has invited Taoiseach Enda Kenny to the constituency next Monday (January 23 ) to see first hand the need to have a long term and substantial investment in rural Ireland.
Deputy Moran said that having the Taoiseach in Ballymahon next Monday (January 23 ) to launch the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development is “a significant event” and reflects the strong case that he has personally made for the constituency since his election to the Dáil last year.
“I invited the Taoiseach personally to come down and see at first hand the issues that need to be addressed,” said Deputy Moran. “Rural Ireland is a key priority for me in the Programme for a Partnership Government, which lists more than 80 commitments which will have an impact, directly or indirectly, on rural Ireland.”
“The Action Plan will cover a three-year period to 2020 and, in particular, I welcome proposals to launch a pilot scheme to encourage residential occupancy in town and village centres. I have fought hard to have Longford-Westmeath included in this pilot scheme, and I am very confident that the constituency will be included in Monday’s announcement.”
Deputy Moran has also identified a lack of high-speed broadband in the constituency as an issue that needs urgent addressing.
“As we all know, the constituency, particularly Longford and parts of Westmeath, has one of the worst broadband connectivity rates in the country and it is issues like these that need to be addressed urgently,” said Deputy Moran, who made his own submission to Rural Affairs Minister, Heather Humphreys, during the consultation phase of the Action Plan.
“Social and economic development of rural Ireland must go hand in hand with urban growth. We can no longer accept an inexorable drift of employment opportunities to the east coast where Dublin is struggling to address infrastructural and housing demand deficits,” he concluded.