Independent candidate for the upcoming Dáil election for Cork North West Cllr. John Paul O’ Shea said “People should not be penalised because they live in a rural or isolated location. Connectivity is not just about maintaining local and national transport links so people can get to work, hospital appointments, the local post office or bank, it’s about a sense of being connected to each other and the outside world”.
Cllr O’ Shea has always been immersed in community life and feel passionate about maintaining and improving life for those living in rural areas. The closure of many of our rural garda stations in recent years has led to many communities and in particular older and vulnerable people feeling more isolated and afraid. It has been proved that these closures didn’t save the country anything financially and only left people opened to further crime and theft. Many of our homes have been targeted since the loss of the local garda and local station and this issue needs to be addressed.
Cllr. O’ Shea added “Life is increasingly happening online and while efforts are underway to roll out broadband across the country – after years of delays, it is not happening quickly enough. Many towns and villages in Cork North West will not receive good quality fibre broadband until post 2020, which is too late for many rural dwellers and enterprises in the constituency”.
“If broadband is made available in rural areas, it will make previously discounted areas an option to live in also facilitating those who wish to work from home, but it would also would remove a barrier to new businesses establishing in rural areas and help support existing local businesses who need online connectivity as an additional revenue stream. Any sense of a rural/urban divide needs to be eradicated and all areas of the constituency – and the country – should be equal in this regard” concluded O’ Shea.