Not one brown cent from the €60m+ announced recently for rural communities in the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund went to West Cork, Independent Deputy Michael Collins told the Dáil.
‘When the Taoiseach launched the fund last year, he said that it would provide investment and support for rural renewal for suitable projects in towns and villages with a population of less than 10,000,’ he said.
Deputy Collins said he had spoken with some of the organisations throughout West Cork which had applied and they were staggered at the zero return for the whole of West Cork. ‘One of the projects that ticked all of the boxes but got zero funding was the Schull Community Harbour Development Company,’ he said. ‘It has proposed a project for a marina in Schull and it was put forward by the Council. It is a category one, shovel-ready project that would have guaranteed year-round jobs in a rural community that is starved for jobs. Why did West Cork, which is one of the most rural constituencies in Ireland, get zero funding in the announcement? We are forgotten people in Cork South-West,’ he said.
In response, Minister of State Séan Canney said it was €60m for rural Ireland and the projects that got going were projects that went through a process with a review group. ‘If there were particular projects submitted by the County Councils that did not get funding or onto the list, they will get feedback as to where their applications were not up to the standard,’ he said. ‘Applicants may be able to address that in the next round.’