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06/14/2017 12:00:00 AM


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Ryan, Eamon

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Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government

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4

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Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government

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Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government

3 Part Topic Index

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Senator


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Deputy Eamon Ryan

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Deputy Eamon Ryan

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Eamon Ryan

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Snippet Contents:

No, it is just that rural development is something we need to get right. My mother comes from a town Deputy Creed knows well. All points from there to Gougane Barra and in between are as important to us as anywhere in south Dublin. Rural development is key to what the Government needs to get right. I am concerned at the nature of the change in that regard. I very much welcome the arrival of the Minister of State, Deputy Eoghan Murphy - that phrase has a nice ring to it - into his position. I would have thought that he would have a key role in terms of rural development. My understanding the direction being taken with the national planning framework, as it was devised by the Minister, Deputy Coveney, was that the question would be put back to rural Ireland, as well as towns and cities across the country, as to how they were going to develop as part of a new national plan. My understanding was that was the key planning change from the original strategic plan we were going to carry out.
My concern is that I am not too sure how we will do that when there are now several Ministers responsible, namely, a Minister for Community and Rural Affairs, a Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, who has a role and a Minister for Culture, who also has a critical role. I am not too sure that dividing that Department into two is the right thing; in fact I think it is the wrong thing. It makes the culture Ministry too small and that cultural element will be missing from rural development. I do not see it working. Given that the creation of a new Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government and a new Minister for Community and Rural Affairs is the key - and really only - change from the previous Cabinet, this is not an insignificant issue. I am interested to see how that will work but it has to work. It has to connect to what we will do in the national capital plan review and the national climate dialogue.
The reason I mentioned a rural-green alliance is because that is the nature of what is needed. Regarding what I said earlier about us making this leap and taking this whole climate change issue seriously, I say to the Minister, Deputy Creed, that farmers are the front line. I had a meeting with Teagasc and 250 of the top farmers last week. We absolutely saw eye to eye. We recognised that they are the front-line key scientists and they have to be the people tackling climate change. This is a rural development issue as much as anything else. I simply do not see in the Cabinet reconstruction how that is going to work. Perhaps it will. If I am proven wrong and the incoming Minister, Deputy Ring, works with the incoming Minister, Deputy Eoghan Murphy, and with the Minister, Deputy Creed, then I will step back and say "fair play, you have done it". I have concerns, however. I am not sure what is the strategic thinking behind those new Departments. I am not sure what the culture Ministry is doing out on its own or what the rural development Ministry is doing, if it is not doing Deputy Eoghan Murphy's new job, which is this whole planning issue about how we develop and particularly how we develop towns. Rural development is not just about farming. It is about Boyle, County Roscommon, Macroom, County Cork and Charleville and every other town.