17 AUGUST 2016
ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock has said that Minister Heather Humphreys’ decision to allocate €10m to regenerate rural Ireland falls considerably short of what is required. “While the news is welcome, further and on-going investment is what is needed to keep the lights on in rural communities. Anyone who travels the back roads of Ireland can see first-hand the devastation inflicted on towns & villages by the complete withdrawal of supports to these areas over the last decade”, he said.
To put it on context, Mr Sherlock pointed out that the cut to the ANC (formerly Disadvantaged Area Payments) has taken over €60 million per annum out of rural communities.
“Our view is that we need to get more funding into rural areas as quickly as possible through as many routes as possible. Farmers are renowned for reinvesting their profits back into their farms and this has a positive effect on local business & employment thus keeping rural Ireland alive. ICSA is calling for a full reinstatement of the ANC payment to previous levels and a more worthwhile package for reinvigorating rural villages.”