Minister Jim Daly has hit out at what he calls the ‘audacity’ of Deputy Michael Collins who vented his anger in the Dáil at West Cork’s lack of funding from the latest roll-out of the rural regeneration funding scheme.
Speaking at the launch of the South-West Enterprise Plan 2020 at the Ludgate in Skibbereen recently, both Minister Daly and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys said that West Cork has been funded extremely well by the government over the last three years.
‘West Cork did extremely well in the first roll out of the Rural Regeneration Fund scheme,’ Minister Daly said.
‘The issue this time is that there are a number of good projects in West Cork but they are not shovel-ready.’
Minister Humphreys added: ‘It is also important to note that €29m has been invested from three funds in the last year in this region, and that’s a huge investment, and this region got the highest allocation under my regional development investment fund of any region in the whole country, with over €10m, and it is right and proper that there should be good investment in this region.
‘The point is that the government wants to help communities, they want to invest in these areas, but you must come forward with good projects and they must be ready. There is no point in funding a project that doesn’t have planning permission when you don’t know how long it’s going to take, and this money could be used in other areas.’
Deputy Daly said that you only had to see the number of cranes and concrete trucks travelling the roads of West Cork to see the investment in the region.
‘Any deputy that would have the audacity to say that West Cork is behind in terms of funding really needs to take a look around – from the flood schemes that have been delivered, to the school projects the length and breadth of the constituency, and community hospitals that have been ungraded, and the sewage schemes, the N71 roadworks, all over the last three-years.’