The decline of rural communities is undeniable. Over the last decade, rural schools, post offices, Garda stations and libraries have all been in the front line of so-called government rationalisation. When added to decline in agriculture, the future of rural Ireland looks quite uncertain.
To reverse this decline will take a systematic investment and employment strategy. In addition, People Before Profit propose the following measures:
- Provide a high-speed rail service joining cities and towns from Cork to Donegal.
- Complete the Rural Broadband Rollout through a major state-led investment programme. Scrap the existing expensive privatised deal.
- Explore co-operative models of rural employment, particularly in green energy.
- Open a mobile doctor’s service to ensure that rural people can be seen in an emergency.
- Establish a rural bus company that would do school runs and act as a taxi service for rural people without cars. Make all current buses wheelchair-friendly.
- Create a Local Social Hub in every town with citizens’ advice, a post office, a library, tourist information etc.