Towns and villages will wither and die unless steps taken now to stop rot in a two-tier Ireland
Towns and villages used to be self-contained places, each with a unique identity, and most likely home to a post office and garda station, shops, a church, a school, doctor and perhaps a park or town square.
Not any more. Today, our homes are increasingly located in the Dublin hinterland, often without access to basic services and merely used as place to eat and sleep before getting behind the wheel and commuting to work in the capital.
The message from the 'Ireland 2040, Our Plan' document is clear - if we don't adopt a radically different approach to planning our communities, we will get more of the same. More congestion and commuting. More people leaving the regions. More social isolation among the elderly. More pressure on housing and basic services in all parts of the country.