SCHOOLS and post offices are closing. No houses are being built and GAA numbers are falling.
This was the stark picture painted by Fine Gael councillor Liam Galvin of life in Limerick’s county villages at this Wednesday’s Newcastle West Municipal District meeting. He believes the proper infrastructure must now be put in place to give small rural communities “a chance” of survival.
“We have the land and we have to develop,” he told the council executive.
“Schools are closing because they can’t get the numbers. GAA numbers are falling. People can’t build houses because the infrastructure isn’t there and sewerage plants are full to capacity.”
Fianna Fail councillor Francis Foley was in full agreement with Cllr Galvin.
“The villages are dying from years of underdevelopment,” he declared.
“Our post offices are closing due to the lack of building and we need to turn this around.”
Sinn Fein councillor Seamus Browne maintained that while the land was available, it was the will that was missing.
“Our towns are starting to suffer. The demographic is changing and this is creating social problems. The villages are dying and all we need is the will,” he declared.
Fine Gael councillor Jerome Scanlan said that many people aspire to return back to their native villages, but that the lack of housing and development was preventing this from happening.
“Regional policy is part of the problem. We need to build houses in the right places. We need housing and sanitation is also an issue,” he said.