Speaking this week following a meeting with the Council for the West and the Oireachtas Liaison Committee, Sinn Féin regional development spokesperson Senator Pearse Doherty has called on the Government to keep its hands off the Western Development Commission (WDC ).
Senator Doherty said: “Following a request from the Government for the Western Development Commission to examine the feasibility of being taken under the umbrella of Enterprise Ireland, there are fears among the Council of the West and others that the commission may be cut by An Bord Snip Nua.
“This would be a disastrous decision and counterproductive to the economic development of the west at a time when the region faces serious challenges in the current financial recession.
“As part of a Sinn Féin campaign for the social and economic development of the west of Ireland I have been travelling up and down the west on a fact finding mission to inform an Oireachtas report which I recently published entitled ‘Awakening the West: Overcoming Social and Economic Inequality’. It is clear to me from meeting groups all along the western seaboard including the Western Development Commission itself that this body is absolutely crucial to the development of the west. It must be exempt from any cutbacks imposed as a result of the current economic difficulties. I am calling on the Government to keep its hands off the Western Development Commission.”