Fine Gael TD for Carlow, Pat Deering has said that rural Ireland, after many difficult years following the recession, is fighting back and Fine Gael wants to see it reach its full potential.
He said: "Fine Gael believes in rural Ireland and wants to see it flourish.
"Ten years ago, rural Ireland was a place of high unemployment, soaring emigration that had little reason for optimism.
"Today, in contrast, rural Ireland is fighting back, 77,000 jobs have been created outside of Dublin since mid-2017 and we want to do more."
He added: "Fine Gael is investing €1 billion in job creation measures in rural areas and delivering improvements in our towns and villages with a population of less than 10,000 people.
"We are implementing our eight regional enterprise plans, following the successful implementation of the regional action plans for jobs.
"The population of rural Ireland is 1.75 million and is increasing. We must cater for their needs. Making remote working is key to this as we look to improve people’s work-life balance.
"That is why the roll-out of the National Broadband Plan is critical and Fine Gael is the only party committed to this plan that will bring broadband to every, home, business and farm in the country."
Deputy Deering said: "A major part of rural Ireland’s economy is our hospitality sector. 2023 will be the Year of the Invitation – a global invitation to visit Ireland on the 10-year anniversary of The Gathering.
"We have seen the great success of tourism initiatives like this and the Wild-Atlantic-Way and the Ireland Ancient East initiative that has helped Ireland attract more tourist to our shores than ever before.
"Fine Gael is the only party for rural Ireland. We will continue to bring employment, opportunity and people back to rural Ireland. We will make rural Ireland a thriving, sustainable in which to place to live and work."