“This is the last generation to settle in rural Ireland and when the lights go out on that, that will be it” was the stark summation given by Achill based Fianna Fáil Cllr Paul McNamara at the monthly meeting of Mayo County Council on Monday.
The topic of the decline of rural Ireland was debated at the meeting during a discussion on the local link rural bus service. Independent Cllr, Michael Holmes, said that the service was a bright spot on a dark future for rural Ireland but a lot more needed to be done. However, he said that “if there isn’t a serious investment in rural Ireland it won’t exist as we know it in 20 years.”
Cllr McNamara said that in the past ten years he had seen six post offices close down in his area and there are only two currently still left open, with one of these due to close at the end of month. He continued: “If something isn’t done the Wild Atlantic Way will look totally like it does in the ads - it will be just wild and without people.”