Reviving Rural Ireland

Our vision is a vibrant rural life where families can live and work locally in sustainable communities. To achieve this, we need a set of policies that will breathe fresh life into towns and villages across the country and ensure that all communities have access to key state services. We will focus state agencies in their efforts to attract and retain jobs across the regions, while vigorously support initiatives that assist remote working.

East Galway - Rural Revitalisation 5

East Galway Digital Towns

The Wild Geese East Galway Task force is a voluntary group working with Boon Digital on an innovative app designed to connect and revitalise the towns and villages in East Galway.

Rural Broadband

In 2020 only 2% of rural homes will be connected. It will take another seven years at least before the remaining homes and businesses are connected.

We will uphold our contractual obligations and ensure it is delivered as quickly as possible.  I will ensure that East Galway’s voice is heard loud an clear.

East Galway - Rural Revitalisation 6
East Galway - Rural Revitalisation 7

Remote Work

Grow Remote is on a mission to realise the potential that new ways of working present to local communities by connecting all those already working remotely and giving them the community, support and resources they need, as well as growing the number of people working remotely.

Local Transport Links

For Ireland to achieve its climate change targets, to build a decent quality of life and to maintain an acceptable standard of living for everyone there’s no doubt that we need to invest in well planned public transport networks in rural Ireland. 

East Galway commuters are abandoned by lack of investment in our public transport networks.

East Galway - Rural Revitalisation 8
East Galway - Rural Revitalisation 9

Road Maintenance & Renewal

A report by the National Oversight and Audit Commission confirmed what many of us know from traveling the roads, namely, that 70% of our regional and local roads have serious structural and surface defects.  Degradation of the pavement has a significant impact on road safety and, in particular, potholes. 

East Galway

Towns & Villlages




Strengthen our right to live in rural Ireland

Rural Ireland cannot be left behind in future construction. Local people have the right to own a home in their community and raise their family there. Fianna Fáil is committed to defending local people’s right to build and own their own home in their own community. 

New Rural Housing guidelines will reflect recent European Court of Justice Judgements on the matter. A new shared sites initiative will provide land in each local area for people who contribute to the local area to build their own homes.

We will strengthen the Planning and Development Act to protect this core right and place an onus on local authorities to provide a clear, transparent route for local people from a community to build and own there.

Increase regional spread of civil service and state agencies

The State must act as a role model and lead by example in creating an equitable geographical spread of state employment. While some mistakes were made in previous rollouts, the redeployment of civil servants and stage agencies outside of Dublin has proven to have created real economic value to regional communities.

It has brought sustainable employment to rural towns and surrounding areas with over 3,400 civil servants from government departments and agencies relocating to counties outside of the capital. It is estimated that the proportion of civil servants working in Dublin currently is approximately 50%.

We believe it is now time to examine the huge potential to relocate further staff to the regions in a considered and proportional way that has buy in from all stakeholders, and which builds on the lessons learnt from the past.


  • Continue the roll out of the Civil Service Mobility scheme to more administrative grades.
  • Review the location of existing state agency jobs and assess the feasibility of relocating a number of bodies to regional and rural towns.

Improve Mobile phone coverage

Parts of rural Ireland are blighted by poor mobile phone coverage. This impairs communications, undermining business and social links.

We will fully implement the recommendations of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce to ensure all parts of the country have quality mobile phone coverage.

Protect and maintain the post office network

The local post office lies at the heart of rural communities and towns. Its plays both an economic role in providing social welfare payments and an immeasurably important social link for residents in isolated areas. In order to survive and flourish into the future Post offices must provide a broader range of services.


  • Support post office plans to broaden out their range of services including state services.
  • Introduce a Public Service Obligation to maintain core standards for the Post Office Network.

Water Supply

Equity of treatment for both urban and rural dwellers in the level of state support they receive towards their water supply is a key priority for Fianna Fáil. We are committed to ensuring a balance in the level of support given regardless of where a family lives.


  • Earmark an additional €2m per annum to the Clár scheme to fund the expansion of group water schemes into isolated areas.
  • Protect funding to group water schemes. 

Support Rural Schools


Fianna Fail believes in the immeasurable value of maintaining fully resourced small schools. They are an integral facet of the fabric of rural life.  We will restore the staffing schedule for small schools to pre-2012 levels, which would cost €2.6m annually.

Support the Community, Voluntary and Social Enterprise Sectors

Volunteering is embedded in the national culture and Ireland has an international reputation as being a nation that gives. Ireland depends on volunteers in areas across our society.

Social Enterprise is an innovative model of using business acumen to achieve broader social goals. With sufficient state supports and prioritisation, the sector has enormous potential to expand and grow employment numbers.


Increase to €2m (€0.8m increase) the annual budget for the implementation of measures in the Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities strategy.


500 construction jobs in the region and up to 1,000 high-tech graduate and technician level jobs for Athenry

US medical device company Dexcom has announced plans to invest €300 million over the next five years to build a new manufacturing site in Athenry, Co Galway, which it says will create “up to 1,000 high-skilled” jobs in the region. On Friday the...

Major Investment: Minister Rabbitte welcomes €300 million Dexcom investment in Athenry

Minister for Disability and Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East, Anne Rabbitte, has welcomed the major investment of €300 million at the IDA site in Athenry as US multinational Dexcom build a new facility in the town. Manufacturers of continuous glucose monitoring for...

Athenry, Co. Galway Shortlisted for .IE Awards – Community Digital – Ability and Accessibility

Congratulations to Athenry, The Galway Wild Geese and the local business owners and volunteers who have been shortlisted for .IE Awards 2022 under the category of Community Digital. Welcoming the news, Minister Rabbitte said: I am thrilled to see Athenry short-listed...

A further €17.8m invested in innovative and novel technologies under Calls 4 & 5 of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund bringing total investment from the fund to €306m

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney TD, the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, and Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Dara Calleary TD,...

Record Employment Levels in Companies Supported by EI, IDA & Údarás na Gaeltachta

 Over 529,144 jobs in client companies of Government agencies in 2022, 7.3% increase on 2021  Growth recorded in every region, 51% of jobs outside of Dublin The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney T.D. has published two surveys on the Irish...

Significant increase in judicial resources to improve access to justice announced by Minister Harris

                                                                                                   -          Minister for Justice secures government approval for 24 additional judges to be appointed in 2023 -          Report recommends a second phase of 20 judges in...

Our Rural Future: Government announces €2.4 million to develop 70 new walking trails

  Major expansion of ‘Walks Scheme’ to boost outdoor recreation and rural tourism Number of trails to increase from 80 to 150 over next two years Department to work with over 2,500 farmers to open up the countrywide to walkers, hikers, cyclists and tourists Minister...

The Zero Project – Innovating for a more inclusive world

The Zero Project is a unique initiative that aims to promote the rights of persons with disabilities around the world. The project was started in 2008 by the Essl Foundation in Austria, with the goal of identifying innovative policies and practices that can help...

Government announces biggest ever St Patrick’s Day Programme, marking “100 years of Ireland in the World”

The Government today announced the 2023 St Patrick's Day programme, which will see the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Government Ministers take part in an extensive international programme to promote Ireland and Irish interests around the world. This year’s programme will...

Minister Rabbitte welcomes allocation of €39.3 million for Galway County Council regional and local roads 

€1.1m set aside for Athenry Ring Road-  Minister for Disability and Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East, Anne Rabbitte, has welcomed the allocation of €39,329,263 million for 2023 for regional and local roads under Galway County Council. This represents an increase in...

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