Miriam Donohoe: Government must act to save rural Ireland...before it's too late
Hands up who remembers Charlie McCreevy's controversial decentralisation plan unveiled on budget day back in December 2003, one of the most disastrous and badly thought-out government programmes of recent times?
I was part of the press pack at the briefing in Government Buildings on the night the single-minded Finance Minister announced details of the radical scheme to relocate 10,300 civil and public servants from Dublin to 53 locations in 25 counties around Ireland.
The core idea was brilliant - unburden Dublin of its creaking infrastructure and breathe new life into towns and centres around Ireland that were dying on their feet. But the lack of planning and thought and the ad hoc manner in which the plan was put together without consultation ensured it was always going to a disaster.