At last weekend’s Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Wexford, the issue of rural isolation was the subject of an address made by Sinn Féin’s candidate for the Granard electoral area, John Reilly.
The Mullinalaghta native raised a number of concerns he believes are affecting the people of rural Ireland, and in particular, north Longford.
“Closure of garda stations, post offices, the reduction of much-needed funding to local community groups, and rural isolation are creating fear among our community, especially the elderly,” he stated. “This, coupled with the emigration of our youth, is impacting negatively on the health and wellbeing of our society.”
One of the community groups affected by funding cuts is Lus na Gréine, which is based in Granard, and Mr Reilly emphasised the effects this will have on the local area.
“It means much-needed services provided by Lus na Gréine, such as counselling, homework clubs, training and education courses, are being badly effected,” he explained. “With the downturn in the economy and the raft of problems associated with it, these groups should be facilitated, not have their funding cut.”
The election hopeful added that, “This is why I got into politics, to work with and for the community.”