Rural firms need greater State support, says Renua

High-quality broadband and roads needed to counter growth of Dublin, says party

Renua Ireland leader Lucinda Creighton, with Senator Paul Bradford. Photograph: Alan Betson

Renua Ireland leader Lucinda Creighton, with Senator Paul Bradford. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

high-quality broadband and roads as well as better access to credit, Renua Ireland has said.

The party believes the changes are needed for sustainable, balanced development throughout rural Ireland to counter the growth of Dublin and the east coast.

Speaking yesterday in Glounthaune, Co Cork, at the launch of the party’s policy for rural Ireland, Senator Paul Bradford, who is running in Cork East, and Jason Fitzgerald who is running in Cork North West, said Renua was also committed to local government reform that would help spread growth across the country.

Mr Bradford said local government reform was essential if rural communities were to be properly empowered and to achieve this Renua was committed to restoring town councils abolished by the Coalition.

“The asinine annihilation of town councils represented another stripping away of power towards the Dublin centre – we believe town councils should be restored on a volunteer basis and given access to power and resources so they can play an enhanced role in decision-making,” he said.

Mr Fitzgerald said Renua wanted to free credit unions to engage in lending to small businesses which have to date been dependent on the major banks, which account for 90 per cent of Irish lending.

“Currently credit unions are prohibited from engaging in lending to small local enterprises, while they are also restricted in how they can invest their members’ deposits – we believe there is a role for credit unions to invest in small business,” he said.

“Irish credit unions have €8 billion deposits – prudent investment of these funds could make an enormous contribution to the Irish life while it will also fulfil their community building ethos,” he added. He said businesses needed adequate broadband to grow.