Record shows not a single meeting of Cabinet Committee on Rural Affairs in five months – Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said he is completely taken aback by the Taoiseach’s admission that the Cabinet Committee on Regional and Rural Affairs only met for the first time last week since its last official meeting on 12 December 2016. Deputy McGrath was speaking after he questioned the Taoiseach on the number of times the Cabinet Committee had met since the formation of Government:

“This information completely undermines the credibility of this government’s assertion that it is serious about prioritising the concerns of rural Ireland and the regions beyond the east coast.

The Taoiseach himself acknowledged that the function of this Cabinet Committee is to provide a whole of government approach to growth in the rural economy as well as supporting quality of life and local service delivery in the regions.

Why then has it only met on a paltry single occasion since the start of December last year?

Another key function of the committee is that it is apparently responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the Action Plan for Rural Development.

Is it the case that so little has occurred in terms of implementation that no oversight meeting was required?

People in rural Ireland will be sickened by the fact that despite Brexit, the single greatest threat to their livelihood’s, the government has seen fit to only convene one meeting in five months of the very Cabinet Committee tasked with addressing the issue.

It has only met four times in total over the lifetime of its existence and this also tells us something about where rural Ireland is in the pecking order of priorities for this government,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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