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Rural Ireland will be one big turn off

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A cable crew take a break behind drums of wire during the roll-out of the Rural Electrification Scheme

A cable crew take a break behind drums of wire during the roll-out of the Rural Electrification Scheme

A cable crew take a break behind drums of wire during the roll-out of the Rural Electrification Scheme

There was a great brouhaha about rural electrification. Well forget it. The powers that be seem determined to turn the lights off.

Does anyone up there in Dublin realise that there are people who live outside the M50?

They probably do know the traffic- jam Dubliners who commute to work in the big city every day and block up the main arteries into Dublin from 7am and the reverse from mid-afternoon.

They get none of the benefits of working in Dublin and few of the benefits of living outside it.

Rural Ireland is daily replaced by commuter-belt Ireland.

Picture this. A small green island in the North Atlantic with a big city in the east and dotted around the remainder of the island are towns and villages that have high streets with shops.

You can buy meat, fish, clothes, toys... whatever. You might drop in to the bank and maybe post a few letters.

You could have a cup of coffee with a cousin who gets the local bus in. The shopkeepers have healthy businesses and families have been able to educate the children in quality local schools, where many of the teachers are well known to them.

They might meet at the GAA or the golf club or a local choir. There are gardai visible and tourists are amazed at how little crime there is. There is an easily accessible hospital that covers all but serious illnesses. You can usually get a bed and treatment quickly.

There is a third level institution in the vicinity...

Much of that 'outside Dublin' Ireland has already gone.

The rest of it is about to be flushed down the progress sewer if we allow it to happen.

It seems the best way to keep a garda station open, or a hospital service in place, is to have a Government minister who understands how important it is because they pass it and they are told what's what by their neighbours, sorry voters.

I don't know precisely what the impact of closing 200 non-profitable post offices will be. It does strike me as odd that the reaction to people sending fewer letters is to increase the price of a stamp to one euro. Could someone send them Michael O'Leary's phone number? It is amazing what cutting prices does for a business.

Nor do I know precisely the effect of cutting rural bus services and closing garda stations. But I do know that banks won't be far behind. Nor will the shop closures, the job losses, the people emigrating and it becoming a rarity to see anyone under 30 in the vicinity. Then more schools will close, etc, etc.

I am fearful that Ireland by 2040 will have a capital city and towns to accommodate, feed, and water the tourists. The rest will be a theme park full of Plastic Paddies. A kind of Indian reservation with a Celtic feel.

Sunday Indo Living