Urban-rural gulf widens as capital speeds ahead
The country is being gripped by a two-tier recovery, as Dublin powers ahead but rural towns and villages stagnate.
A new study finds that people living in the capital are far more confident about their personal finances than those living in the rest of the country. The findings of the report by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and KBC Bank suggest the rural-urban gulf is widening.
People living in and around Dublin are optimistic about economic conditions and the outlook for jobs is brightening.
The survey indicates an expected broadening of the recovery in the capital.
But groups representing rural communities said economic growth was much weaker outside the capital and surrounding counties.
James Claffey, of Irish Rural Link, said: "There is a two-tier recovery going on at the moment. Rural areas are seeing a bit of a resurgence in economic activity and in consumer optimism, but just not at the same pace as Dublin." He said official studies have shown unemployment in rural areas shot up by 192pc during the downturn, compared with 114pc in urban areas.
Rural areas were blighted with emigration, the loss of garda stations, bank branches and post offices.