Fianna Fáil councillors in Micheál Martin’s home constituency have gone against their party leader and welcomed the Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP).
On Monday, a motion was brought by Fine Gael to Cork County Council calling on local authority members to welcome the NBP which was signed in recent weeks.
Despite complete opposition to the biggest investment in rural Ireland since the rollout of electricity from Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and his top brass, Fianna Fáil councillors in Cork decided to welcome and support the Fine Gael plan.
Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Rural and Community Development, Clare TD, Joe Carey said the motion put forward in Cork – ‘That this Council welcomes the signing of the National Broadband Plan which will see the rollout of high speed broadband throughout Cork County’ – will be put before every other local authority in the county by Fine Gael.
“We want to give Fianna Fáil a second chance to see if their councillors want to disassociate themselves from the position taken by their party leadership against the NBP and offer support to the plan in their area. I’m sure their electorate would welcome faster and equal connectivity online,” Deputy Carey said.
“The rollout of rural broadband will bring equality of opportunity to all but Fianna Fáil and their reckless politicking wanted to stop it.
“The rollout will see high speed broadband delivered to the 1.1 million people living and working in the nearly 540,000 premises nationally, including 100,000 businesses and farms, and over 600 schools, where commercial operators will not commit to deliver the service,” Deputy Carey said.
Fine Gael General Election candidate in Cork North West and party leader in Cork County Council, Councillor John Paul O’Shea said it was great to see that common sense has won out in the opposition.
“The NBP can only improve the lives of every person in the country and it is only right that all support it and get behind it. We got overall support in Cork County Council, including from Fianna Fáil which is contrast to their leadership, to welcome the NBP.
“Common sense is starting to show through on this issue,” Cllr O’Shea said.