Sunday 8 December 2019

TD critical of rural Wicklow's funding

Myles Buchanan

Pat Casey TD has spoken of his dismay and anger at the continued underfunding of rural Wicklow in Government grant funding announced over the last two weeks.

In particular he is critical of the amount of funding awarded to the Garden County compared to other counties, particularly neighbouring ones.

'Minister Ring announced with great spin and fanfare the Town and Village, and rural regeneration funding over the last two weeks. This is a welcome new initiative to support rural towns and villages throughout the Wicklow that have been left behind by Fine Gael led governments over the past six years. I was looking forward to seeing the allocation to the many towns and villages in Wicklow that are eligible and in need of these funds but I was quickly shocked and dismayed to see that our county received the lowest allocation in Ireland. Wicklow projects received a total of €250,000 in funding while neighbouring counties Wexford received €691,000, Carlow €400,000, and Minister Rings own County of Mayo receiving €838,533,' said Deputy Casey.

The Rural Regeneration project had three projects sent in by Wicklow County Council but only €2.6 million was awarded to one project while Donegal received €6.6million, Wexford €5.5million, Kildare €5 million and Mayo €6.48 million.

Deputy Casey feels the county has a history of receiving paltry levels of funding and wants answers over why Wicklow is consistently underfunded.

'This is not the first occasion that Minister Ring has snubbed rural Wicklow when earlier our famous outdoor recreational sector only received €25,000 in a national allocation while Mayo again received a massive €1.125 million, and a LIS roads allocation of funding for six rural roads in Wicklow while Mayo got 77 roads,' said Deputy Casey.

'The evidence is now clear that rural Wicklow is not getting a fair deal from Fine Gael in Government. Our rural towns and villages have projects that are excellent development ideas but are being starved of government funding for reasons that escape me. I now understand that there were applications sent in by Wicklow County Council that were denied funding. I will be seeking answers on this allocation in particular the guidelines in relation to these grants.'

Bray People