Taoiseach issues pre-election promise that Government will continue to 'revitalise rural Ireland'
Rural Ireland is alive, but is changing, the Taoiseach has said, as he launched the Charter for Rural Ireland.
In a pre-election promise to voters living outside urban centres, he said the Government of Fine Gael and Labour "will continue to put in place measures to revitalise rural Ireland so that the recovery is felt inside every doorstep, in every community, in Ireland."
The launch, held at the Crank House enterprise centre in Banagher, Co Offaly was attended by Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly and Minister of State Ann Phelan.
"We need to keep the recovery going to ensure that all communities across Ireland can feel the benefits of recovery," the Taoiseach said.
The Charter is a statement of government commitment to support the regeneration of rural communities.
It states that the widespread perception that rural is synonymous with decline is wrong.
"The positive role for rural areas in the development of the Irish economy is unquestionable," it says.
"However rural communities involve more than the rural economy and it is important that they provide a nurturing social and cultural environment for their residents."
If re-elected, the government plans to host a National Rural Development Forum in early 2016.