9 October 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
Cork is the home county of three MEP’s (Members of the European Parliament). They are Brian Crowley (Fianna Fail), Deirdre Clune (Fine Gael), and Liadh nia Riada (Sinn Fein).
Speaking following the publication of Sinn Féin’s Alternative Budget for 2016 Liadh Ní Riada stated that Gaeltacht areas – including those in Cork – would be better off under the party’s proposals.
Liadh Ní Riada MEP said:
“The Sinn Féin Alternative budget plans for a fair recovery in the coming year – it sets out costed, fair proposals which encourage economic growth while investing in health, housing, childcare and the economy.
“Our budget will benefit families, workers, young people, small businesses, the self-employed, the elderly and those most in need. It also places Gaeltacht and Rural communities at the heart of a fair recovery.
“Some of the specific proposals contained in our alternative budget include an increase the Udarás na Gaeltachta capital fund grant, which was gutted by Fianna Fáil. Sinn Féín would make an extra €5 million available to the fund to support job creation in Gaeltacht areas.
“Furthermore, Sinn Féin would provide increased funding to Irish Language community Schemes, as well as increased funding for outreach assistance for parents in Gaeltacht areas to encourage children to use and improve their Irish Language skills.
“Sinn Féín has also provided for a 20% tax credit in relation to expenditure incurred by parents for children for Gaeltacht courses.
“In relation to rural areas, Sinn Féín has provided for an additional 500 places on the Rural Social Scheme, the restoration of Farm Assist, the provision of 1,000 Garda training places and a Telephone allowance of €9.50 per month to allow elderly people living on their own to access panic alarms.
“The record of Fianna Fáíl, Fine Gael and Labour in respect of rural Ireland has been shameful – services have been stripped, there has been insufficient supports provided for the Irish Language, our island communities have been attacked and the poverty rate in rural Ireland has increased.
“The neglect of Rural Ireland and of our Gaeltacht areas under this Government and their Fianna Fáil predecessors has starved our communities of investment, funding, services and has contributed to depopulation and isolation.
“The news that the Government underspent in the Gaeltacht last year to the tune of €8 million underlines their lack of interest in the community. Unlike the establishment parties, Sinn Féin will prioritise fair investment in communities for a fair recovery.”