Dáil debates

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Rural Schemes

4:05 pm

Photo of Jennifer Murnane O'ConnorJennifer Murnane O'Connor (Carlow-Kilkenny, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister of State.

I feel there is a big communication issue. I welcome the further meetings scheduled with the ILDN this week. That is so important. I am getting different figures from what the Minister of State is giving me.

I welcome the commitment from the Government to invest in rural Ireland. I see in my own community in Carlow-Kilkenny the community spirit that this important funding has brought. However, we need more communication and information on it. There is definitely a breakdown there. I ask that the Department would conduct an information campaign. I am aware that the Minister is speaking to all the different stakeholders but there are definitely concerns. I am hearing them on the ground. I ask that there be more engagement and that we have more information. The Minister of State said that there is a 30% increase in funding. I welcome that but, as I said, I need to get more clarification on the figures. Overall, we must welcome any funding that is brought into rural Ireland, including my own area. We also have to make sure that this delivers and that there are never cutbacks here.

I will ask the Minister of State about the application process. That is an issue that has been raised with me when one is applying for funding. I would ask that the Minister of State engage and see what can be done on that because there is a lot of red tape. I would ask for a commitment that that be addressed.

I welcome the fact that the submissions have been made. I note December is the time that everything is brought back to the Department and will come back to all the different stakeholders.

I would repeat that information and communication is the real issue when we are talking about rural Ireland. This must be addressed and maintained.

I will welcome any funding that comes to rural Ireland, particularly to my own area in Carlow-Kilkenny. I noted we were down slightly last year and I would ask that the Minister of State address that as well.


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