Rural Ireland 'possibly not fit for purpose', admits Minister

Minister for Rural Economic Development Anne Phelan has admitted that rural Ireland is no longer "fit for purpose".

The Government was criticised this week after the Taoiseach conceded their new rural renewal scheme "won't do a lot" on its own.

The €30m scheme will see funds channelled through local authorities to villages and towns which are still feeling the effects of the recession.

This weekend another major investment is planned as they pilot rural economic development zones.

However, when asked for her thoughts on rural Ireland, Minister Phelan said it was "possibly not fit for purpose.

"Perhaps this is where the role that I have in Government will come in.

"I'm going to launch tomorrow €4m of a new initiative called 'Rural Economic Development Zones', where we will join communities like Castlecomer, Graiguenamanagh and Thomastown and study them and make them pilot areas and do an audit."

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