Thomas Pringle TD

Rural services at crisis levels for Donegal – Pringle

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Press Release – April 12th, 2017

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Speaking during Leaders’ Questions today, Deputy Pringle raised the issue of receding rural services in Donegal and across Ireland in the wake of Ulster Bank branch closures and potential future closures of post offices by An Post.

“While Fine Gael say they can’t do anything to stop Ulster Bank from leaving Raphoe and Ardara, it can certainly intervene to facilitate services that meet the needs of communities. We already have a public banking network called Credit Unions but the Government has stifled any growth or development in this sector. This is because the Government has always prioritised private banks and has actively curtailed any potential competition to them.

“The consequences of Government inaction and its failure to intervene have resulted in threats to rural bus services, post office and Garda station closures, a dwindling National Broadband Plan and now bank closures with nothing left to meet the needs of rural communities. This is a mockery to Fine Gael’s Action Plan for rural Ireland where the only action carried out is the active removal of services vital to these communities.

“We’ve seen a Kerr Report into Post offices sitting on the Taoiseach’s desk for two years now gathering dust. The Minister for Finance hides behind the regulator claiming he can’t possible expand the remit of Credit Unions to provide alternative financial services to communities, and we have a Minister standing by as our bus services are under threat.

“I’ve used the opportunity today to call on the Government to step in with more than just an Action Plan, and with a radically new approach prioritising services to these communities and developing an alternative banking model sustainable to credit unions and post offices” concludes Pringle.

 

ENDS

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