Rural Ireland and some capital ideas


A chara, – There seems to be a mood to rethink the uneconomic way of living in Dublin.

Many public servants, for example, are caught in the trap of rising rents versus capped pay. Many of these same public servants perform “back-office” functions and do not meet any members of the public in their jobs from day to day.

Rather than attempt to de-centralise State bodies (which failed and perhaps was designed to fail), de-centralise people. Allow public servants to work from hubs or homes in country towns and travel to Dublin one day a week (if necessary) for meetings with supervisors.

The benefits are two-way. It would breathe new life into rural villages, shops and their schools, while at the same time alleviating the housing and traffic crisis in Dublin.

For a Government that continually harps on about the benefits of “e-commerce” it seems to be very reluctant to embrace the benefits itself. – Is mise,


Sandyford, Co Dublin.

Sir, – David McWilliams (“We need to move public servants out of Dublin”, Weekend Review, June 29th) proposes that public servants should be moved out of Dublin as a means of solving the problems of rural Ireland and reducing the current stresses being placed on the capital. However, merely relocating parts of the public service may not be enough as populations tend to migrate toward centres of power. The only solution, in this regard, may be to take the bold decision and relocate the administrative capital of the State, leaving Dublin to remain as the economic capital.

To be effective, any new administrative capital probably needs to be located in the western part of the country, within a reasonable distance of Shannon Airport and close exiting motorway and rail infrastructure. – Yours, etc,


Co. Kildare.

Sir, – Fintan O’Toole’s observation that, “only Donegal did not vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment” is the sole mention of Ireland’s most deprived county in your extensive review of the challenges facing rural Ireland (Weekend Review, June 29th).

Donegal’s vote was hardly a surprise given the loss of young people from the county, 16 per cent in five years.

De haut en bas pronouncements that more “autonomy” and less “apathy” would help us on our merry way will be read with incredulity in Ireland’s most northerly county, which has no train or motorway connections and unemployment at 18 per cent.

The lack of a dual carriageway to Dublin magnifies the isolation of this county.

The funds promised by the Irish Government in the St Andrews Agreement to upgrade the A5 Derry/Dublin roadlink have been diverted to the bottomless pit of the new children’s hospital.

Dublin is the root source of Donegal’s ills. – Yours, etc,


Gaoth Dobhair

Co Dhún na nGall.

Sir, – Our climate and biodiversity emergency presents a unique opportunity for rural Ireland to create a new landscape thriving with nature (“Challenges facing rural Ireland”, Weekend Review, June 29th). The restoration of habitats on a large scale, including the re-wilding of bogs and uplands, a move to regenerative farming and the creation of marine protected areas and enormous native woodlands can help to revitalise rural areas, creating new and diverse employment as well as fulfilling and healthy places to live in.

The fortunes of people and nature in these areas are both on a downward spiral – their recovery is equally intertwined. – Yours, etc,


Irish Wildlife Trust,

Glasnevin, Dublin 11.

Sir, – Following “Five challenges for rural Ireland (Weekend Review, June 29th) I read, paraphrasing Cato, Dublin delenda est: pro bono publico. – Yours, etc,


Sandymount, Dublin 4.