Fine Gael Mayo senator, and Seanad spokesperson on agriculture, food and the marine, Michelle Mulherin, has asked that Swinford be included in Action Plan for Rural Development. This week, Senator Mulherin said: “I have asked Minister Humphreys to include Swinford as a pilot project town for the action plan. I think the town would be an ideal case to implement a pilot project and develop a worthwhile scheme for all rural market towns.
“Under this plan house buyers are to be offered renovation grants to restore properties in small towns and villages as part of the Government's long-promised plan to revive rural Ireland. The action plan, which contains more than 250 actions, is a whole-of-Government response to the economic and social development of rural Ireland.
“I hope that this plan will breathe life into rural towns in need of a leg-up. I think towns like Swinford in Mayo need to see a change in Government policy to assist their growth and development. This action plan is an opportunity to put life back into dilapidated market towns throughout Mayo and the country.
“Compared to a number of years ago when these towns were thriving, there are now very few people actually living in town centres. By redeveloping the heart of these towns, we can help solve the housing problem therefore increasing footfall and revitalising local business. I have been working on this issue for a number of years. Incentives for the renovation of rural properties was among proposals I have put forward and which have been endorsed by the parliamentary party on numerous occasions.
“Fine Gael will continue to put in place measures to revitalise rural Ireland throughout its second term in government so that the recovery is felt inside every doorstep, in every community, in Ireland.”