Challenges facing Rural Ireland

There’s a good article in The Irish Times today on the decline of rural areas, not just in Ireland, but all over Europe. The populations of our towns and villages, especially in the west, are shrinking. The worker-hungry Industrial Revolution saw the first great migration of people from rural areas to the cities. The same motives are robbing rural communities everywhere of their brightest and best. One begins to marvel at how Kerry can still field such strong football teams when you see that it is one of the counties worst affected by emigration. I think Dr Brendan O’Keeffe of the Dept of Geography, University of Limerick hits on an important point when he calls for “a lessening of the bureaucratic burden and more community-led development”. One things for sure: this is a major sociological issue which requires serious cooperation between all stakeholders: EU, Government, local government, and community.

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