FORMER Tanaiste Mary Coughlan believes the Government is neglecting rural Ireland.
And she said Taoiseach Enda Kenny was like a "package" for the Government who is just not visible enough to the ordinary voters.
The former Tanaiste has given her views on the performance of the Fine Gael/Labour Government, which she believes needs to do more for those living in isolated areas.
Ms Coughlan said Enda Kenny was "doing very well" but in an apparent reference to the Taoiseach's media persona, she suggested that he is acting as a "package" on behalf of the Government.
"Enda Kenny as Taoiseach is doing very well. He's interested, and he's working hard, but he's not visible in enough places," she said.
"I don't think he's being asked the hard questions.
"He's like a package for the government and the handlers. I'd like to see him travelling around the country more, and getting asked the hard questions," she added.
Ms Coughlan, who held a number of ministerial positions, criticised the Government over its treatment of rural communities.
"We (Fianna Fail) didn't neglect rural areas, compared to this Government. Almost all the ministers, apart from Enda Kenny, are city based – Dublin, Cork, Limerick," she said during the RTE interview.
"They have a policy not to pay attention to the difficulties in rural areas – garda stations closing, small schools under threat . . . I don't see the political support for rural areas like this (northwest Donegal)."