Wednesday 29 November 2023
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O’Shea asks if local FF councillors will back landmark investment in County Cork and support rural broadband?

O’Shea asks if local FF councillors will back landmark investment in County Cork and support rural broadband?

Fianna Fáil councillors on Cork County Council are set to come under pressure to show their support for the most significant investment in rural Ireland since rural electrification and back the Government’s National Broadband Plan, according to Leader of the Fine Gael Party in Cork County Council Cllr. John Paul O’Shea.

Cllr. O’Shea said: “I have placed a motion for the next full council meeting of Cork County Council which is to take place on Monday next, 9th December 2019 to give a chance to my Fianna Fáil (FF) counterparts to disassociate themselves from the position taken by their leadership against the NBP, by asking them to back a motion in support of the plan.

When the contract was signed by Government, Fianna Fáil’s leadership quietly dropped their bizarre opposition to the most significant investment in rural Ireland in decades. The rollout of rural broadband will bring equality of opportunity to all, but Fianna Fáil and their reckless politicking wanted to stop it.

The signing of the broadband contract by the Government was a landmark day for County Cork and for rural Ireland generally. The National Broadband Plan will see investment of €314m to bring high-speed broadband to 78,695 homes across County Cork.

Cllr. O’Shea continued, “Nationally 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.

Will FF councillors continue to hold the party line on this? Will they continue to show people that FF has gotten so tangled up in their pursuit of support in Dublin that they don’t really care about investing in rural Ireland and county Cork?

We have seen total incoherence on this subject from Fianna Fáil’s leadership: they wanted broadband but not the NBP. They had no plan to deliver broadband but insisted that its delivery was a priority.

Maybe their councillors here in county Cork can clear up just where the party stand on delivering broadband. They’ll get the opportunity next Monday.”

The significance of the NBP cannot be overstated. It will transform lives for people here in County Cork changing how people work, how they learn and how they access services. Where appropriate it will change how they access health services, and how they farm.

This will bring equality of opportunity to every person in the country, and Fine Gael is the only party who had a plan and a vision to deliver rural broadband to every home, business and farm.

Fianna Fáil wanted to derail it, but thankfully work is due to begin very soon and the long-awaited delivery of broadband to people in County Cork will get underway.

Unlike Fianna Fáil and others, Fine Gael is working to ensure rural Ireland is to the fore of the country’s progression and development.

Whereas we have a plan for the country, opposition and critics like Fianna Fáil provide only obstacles. They have no plan, no solutions and no policies for broadband for Ireland,” O’Shea concluded.