Mr Finlay asks many questions but provides no answers and didn’t spend too much time asking around for any, either. His column is littered with woolly statements. He says John Healy’s book “led to a fresh emphasis on regional development”. Did it? What fresh emphasis? Where’s the evidence? Mr Finlay asks: “How are banks, for instance, allowed to walk away from towns…” They were allowed, if not encouraged, by a Fine Gael Minister for Finance in a Fine Gael/Labour Coalition Government. But then Labour is the party for the urban middle class state employee. So long as their rural seaside village of choice, whether that be Roundstone or Baltimore, Schull or Ardmore, is open for two weeks in the summer, who cares about the rest of the year?
Government and local authority tax collectors are ensuring the death of rural Ireland with extortionate commercial rates which take no account of ability to pay, 23% VAT, excise duties among the highest in Europe making life in rural Ireland much more expensive than Dublin, and an NRA which ensures that all roads lead to Killarney, meaning West Cork is by-passed by motoring tourists.
CEDRA is a joke. Any commission with that many public service employees as appointees, told to come up with a solution that doesn’t cost anything, will produce a useless report saying how bad things are, shake their heads, wring their hands, ‘isn’t it terrible that nothing can be done?’. Then submit their useless report and collect their expenses cheques.