Mayo Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Extend Living City Initiative to Rural Towns

Published: 5 May, 2014

Sinn Féin Councillor Thérèse Ruane, has called for the 'Living City Initiative' to be extended to rural towns and not just confined to the cities of Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Kilkenny. She insists that towns in the West of Ireland are getting left behind yet again and that this government, just like it's predecessors, is long on rhetoric but short on resources when it comes to rural Ireland. According to Cllr. Ruane, "The sad reality is that that just like Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour are pursuing the exact same policies and inflicting acute austerity on Rural Ireland. I am extremely disappointed that the living city initiative announced in last year's budget does not include rural towns in its remit. This initiative will provide commercial incentives for works performed to refurbish residential and retail buildings, either to bring them up to a habitable standard or even to make improvements to buildings which are currently inhabited. The incentives will be targeted at owner/occupiers rather than property developers and is applicable to all pre 1915 buildings in the streetscapes of Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Kilkenny. "To be honest, I am astonished that this scheme is limited to cities when the retail and residential streetscapes of our small towns are in rapid decline. We've been listening to the usual rhetoric regarding the state of our small towns and the decline of rural Ireland from Government TDs, Councillors and MEPs but here we go again, rural Ireland and small towns and villages are excluded from this scheme and yet again, rural Ireland is being failed by this government. "Anybody who walks the streets of our rural villages and towns knows that a scheme like this is so badly needed to regenerate and halt further decline of our town centres and villages in rural Ireland. We are told Dublin, Cork and Galway are showing signs of recovery but it's towns and villages in Mayo and the West that need consessions and regeneration. Yet again, this government, just like its predecessors, is long on rhetoric but short on resources when it comes to Rural Ireland."