While any extra funding coming to rural Ireland is very welcome and I welcome the announcement of the Rural Renewal Scheme by the Government this morning at the ploughing championships in Co Laois. However the sum of 30 million Euro set aside for this scheme is a drop in the ocean and far more resources need to be committed if the Government are to be serious about the revival of rural Ireland. I have been hammering away at this issue since I was first elected and we need to get serious if we want to revive rural towns and villages which have been decimated over the past eight years. While renovating derelict buildings and supporting various tourism initiatives is very welcome we have to come up with ways of creating sustainable employment in rural Ireland to stop the flight of our young people to the big towns and cities and abroad as well. I will be pressing the Government hard to support rural Ireland in a realistic way through this Dail session and this announcement today should only be a starting point.
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