Long-term view on the regions will cost us - but it's a must
Without even realising it, the nation has been debating planning issues for years. The future of Bus Éireann and Irish Rail, and the ongoing row about water, pylons and school provision. The state of the national road network. The issue of one-off rural housing. The death of rural Ireland. There's a reason why these topics keep cropping up. A failure to think long term.
The debate needs to be refocused. It's too local, reactive, and doesn't take a national perspective. If there's any doubt about whether the planning system has failed to balance development across the State it's the stark findings contained in 'Ireland 2040 - Your Plan' launched this week. The lack of big picture thinking has resulted in a two-tier Ireland, where economic growth is focused on Dublin and the east while the regions stagnate.
The problem is exemplified by Taoiseach Enda Kenny's comments at the launch in Maynooth University. Mr Kenny said while the capital plan set out spending priorities out to 2021, the country was "not geared" to provide the "massive infrastructural requirements" needed for the next 20 years.