Fianna Fáil forgets its Bruree roots, says Limerick TD

Independent Ireland TD Richard O'Donoghue speaking in the Dáil.

FORMER Fianna Fáil man Richard O’Donoghue has pleaded with the party not to forget its roots as he highlighted the issue of planning in rural Ireland.

In December 2015, the Rural Ireland Independent TD resigned from Fianna Fáil when he was a councillor in Adare-Rathkeale Municipal District. He claimed at the time that his reason for parting ways was down to delays in a decision on his request to be added to the party’s ticket for the 2016 General Election.

Speaking in the Dáil, the Banogue man urged Fianna Fáil not to forget from where it first started out. He also hit out that the Government has consistently failed to effectively tackle the housing crisis, leaving them scrambling to react to a situation that has now spun out of control.

“Last week I met a woman by the name of Mary Doorty, née Sheehan, who is originally from Bruree and who now lives in Clare. I met her in Croom Hospital where she was recovering from a short illness. She grew up across the road from Éamon de Valera, who spent many a time in her parents’ parlour talking with her father.

“She turned 96 years of age on April 27. She said to me, “What have Fianna Fáil done to our party? What have Fianna Fáil done to rural Ireland? Have they forgotten where it first started?”

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Deputy O’Donoghue called on Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to look at the funding he is giving to developers in respect of city-based projects. He asked him to turn that around for developer-led, Council-led or Government-led funding to go into infrastructure and let it be led by them.

“Do not forget from where Fianna Fáil first started out. Do not forget them. Bruree is where it started. That is a rural area. Since Fianna Fáil has come up here, it has gone completely Dublin led and city led.

“Put the investment into rural Ireland in the same way it is being put into the cities. Protect our generation and those to come, and do not forget us,” he declared.

In response, Limerick’s Minister of State for Housing, Kieran O’Donnell (FG) said that the Rural Ireland Group’s proposal to tackle housing, as well-intentioned as it was, would be opposed as it failed to recognise the progress being undertaken to encourage growth and development in rural Ireland in a way “consistent with our national planning policies and the substantial public investment underpinning them”.

“I understand the good intentions of the Rural Independent Group but we will not be accepting the motion. We feel we have made significant progress that has not been acknowledged in the motion,” he concluded.