first_imgCllr James Pat Mc Daid is to ask his colleagues on the County Council to back his motion to establish a Rural Affairs Committee for Donegal.Cllr James Pat McDaidHe has highlighted a number of increasing deficits including lack of jobs, depopulation, no social housing construction that are not being addressed with any degree of urgency because there is no local forum to do so politically.The Fianna Fail councillor says that in previous times when Committees of Agriculture were part of the Local Government structure, rural communities had a real voice through their Cllrs. “With rural Ireland, its people, services and communities losing out on vital services, housing, investment and neglect of the infrastructure there is a very urgent for collective political action.We can do that best through a dedicated committee that gives us a real voice to address this crisis,” Cllr. McDaid told the Tribune last night.A recent Teagasc Report carried out by their Head of Rural Economy and Development, Prof Cathal O’Donoghue has indicated that rural Ireland and its small and medium sized towns have been affected to a greater extent by the economic downturn.The Report shows that unemployment increased by 193% in towns under 10,000 inhabitants compared with 115% in cities and 150% nationally. Cllr. McDaid who is aged 26 helps to run the family farm in Glenswilly says there was never more urgency for rural areas across Ireland to have their own voice at Local Government level. A ‘Rural affairs Committee’ is the best way forward, he believes. And it is vital to that a younger generation like himself is given a chance to make their homes in their local parishes.Cllr. McDaid said: “Rural Ireland is dying a death since the collapse of the Celtic Tiger. More and more young people are either emigrating or moving into the larger towns or cities, where they might be lucky enough to a job, a house and a future.Vital services such as schools , Garda stations, post offices, national schools, shops , restaurants, the country pub, B&Bs, community services must be protected. These services are the heart and soul of our small villages. And when added up can count for a considerable amount of jobs that will give hope for the future. We have seen too many of our small villages and rural areas lose these essential services and we cannot afford to lose more.In rural communities the family farm is the most important thing that binds our rural way of life, its people and their interests. The retention of these smallholdings is one of my main priorities. There are over 9,000 farm units in this county, which suggests at least 60,000 people in Donegal are directly associated with farm incomes. At least 10,000 more are indirectly involved in food processing, management, and distribution.Communications and especially Broadband is another vital service which needs to be secured in rural areas. With the poor quality of broadband it is a fact that bad people cannot study online, work from home or indeed think about the setting up a new business. Rural areas need more houses. Government policy has seen SI schemes and rural farm cottages no longer being funded and this is a huge loss. In my own area there are young couples and single parents who want to live and work and be part of their own community. These are the people who we depend on to keep the countryside alive for the next generation and are being failed badly.That is why, I believe that to rebuild our rural communities we need a rural affairs voice on our local authorities,” he added.McDAID CALLS FOR RURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE FOR DONEGAL was last modified: January 15th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Cllr James Pat McDaiddonegallast_img read more