Realising our Rural Potential: Action Plan for Rural Development was launched in Longford by Minister for Rural Development Heather Humphries, along with the Taoiseach,on Monday 23rd January. The Irish Times had a good piece on it which is set out below:
" It is largely a compendium of existing plans, schemes and programmes brought together under one roof.
Much of the investment and many of the targets contained in it can also be found in previous documents. One of the headline grabbers, for example, the 135,000 new jobs outside Dublin by 2020, was also one of the targets in the programme for government. In the appendices of the document, 47 other schemes and plans are referenced.
The Minister’s spokeswoman confirmed that the €60 million (€20 million a year) to be invested in more than 600 towns and villages over the next three years was coming from existing departmental budgets. She also pointed out, fairly, that it was a small part of the overall investment in rural Ireland.
If anything, the media reports that heralded €60 million of investment in rural Ireland were underselling public investment in rural areas in the coming years. In fact, billions of euro in public investment will be devoted to rural Ireland.
That’s a lot of money; it’s just that none of it is new money."
Galway Rural Development welcomes the plan and is glad that there is a focus on the needs of rural communities and businesses in Ireland. We need a bit of joined up thinking and if this is matched by joined up money, so much the better. You can download a copy of the plan here:Action Plan for Rural Ireland