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Dublin: 17 °C Saturday 17 August, 2019

Do we need a junior minister for rural development?

RTÉ has seen a report which underlines how much Ireland’s rural areas have suffered in the downturn – should a minister be dedicated to tackling that issue?

Rural Ireland saw some development during the boom: what now?
Rural Ireland saw some development during the boom: what now?
Image: Photocall Ireland

BUSINESSES IN RURAL areas suffer double the rate of failure as businesses in urban areas and one-third of households with people of working age are hit by unemployment.

Those are some of the stark statistics which RTÉ says is in a report – yet to be made public – which examined the economic state of rural areas. The report is from the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas (CEDRA), which held a series of public meetings across Ireland and also offered people and groups a chance to make suggestions for developing rural Ireland’s economy earlier in the summer.

These slides from a presentation from Dr David Meredith of Teagasc are worth a look for an overview of employment in rural areas.

The full recommendations of CEDRA’s report will be revealed when it is published next month. However, RTÉ claims that the draft report has already thrown up enough concern for senior civil servants to suggest that a junior minister be appointed with specific responsibility for rural development.

Would you consider it a good idea to appoint a Minister of State for Rural Development?

Poll Results:

B - No (691)
C - Not sure (467)
A - Yes (291)

Column: It’s time to tackle decline in rural Ireland>

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