Government rural reinvigoration fund well short of what is needed, say ICSA.

‘Towns and villages devastated by complete withdrawal of supports.’

‘€60 million annually taken from area payments of rural communities.’

Sligo News File Online

A €10 million rural Fund recently announced by Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Minister Heather Humphreys will do next to nothing for rural regeneration. That’s according to

Seamus Sherlock, Chair, ICSA National Rural Development Committee
Seamus Sherlock,
Chair, ICSA National Rural Development Committee

the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association who have said that while the allocation is welcome “, further and on-going investment …is needed to keep the lights on in rural communities.”

Seamus Sherlock, chairman of the organisation’s rural development committee, said, “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.”

“To put it in context, the cut to the ANC (formerly Disadvantaged Area Payments) has taken over €60 million per annum out of rural communities,” he said.

Rural“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,”

The ICSA, he said, is now calling for a full reinstatement of the ANC payment to previous levels as well as “a more worthwhile package for reinvigorating rural villages,”