FACTS BETRAY MYTH IN RURAL IRELAND DEBATE

SCHOOL CLOSURES, POST OFFICE CLOSURES AND JOB LOSSES HIGHER UNDER FIANNA FÁIL

Cork North West TD Michael Creed has hit back at accusations that this Government has had an anti-rural bias. Commenting on the matter Deputy Creed said:

“There has been much rhetoric of late suggesting that this Government has been bad for Rural Ireland which has been based more on fiction than fact. The truth of the matter is that Fianna Fáil in Government, even during the Celtic Tiger era, did far more to erode services in Rural Ireland than this Government has done in the midst of an economic crisis.

“Figures provided to me from the Minister for Education reveal that Fianna Fáil in Government oversaw the closure of 10 schools in County Cork between 2006 and 2010 while only three have closed since this Government has taken office. The fact is that this Government made it clear from the outside that any decisions on school closures would be left with schools own boards of management and not forced by the Department. These figures betray suggestions by some that this Government have been closing schools in every village while the opposite is the case.

“Post Office closures have also been pointed to as an area where this Government has been hard handed. Figures provided by An Post show that between 2005 and the end of 2010, during Fianna Fail’s reign in Government 31 Cork Post Offices shut their doors while only three have been closed since this Government took office and 2014.

“On the jobs front the figures are also revealing. From the time the 2007 Fianna Fáil Government took office to the time it left in 2011 the numbers on the Live Register increased by 264% in Newmarket and 277% in Macroom. Since Fine Gael took office in 2011 the numbers on the live register have tumbled by 27% in both Newmarket and Macroom.

“I believe that is important that the public are made aware of the facts behind some of inane and inaccurate sound-bites that have been doing the rounds in recent times. There is still much work to be done by this Government to right the wrongs of its predecessor. It is important that Governments be judged on their record”.

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