‘Fabric of rural Ireland being blown to smithereens’

The fabric of rural Ireland is being blown to smithereens, according to independent TD, Danny Healy-Rae. He said everything from the location of the new children’s hospital, to early morning checkpoints as part of the drink-driving crackdown, are affecting rural dwellers.

Deputy Healy-Rae said the location of the new children’s hospital at the St. James’ Hospital site was unsuitable because it will not have facilities for a rescue helicopter to land critically ill patients and because of the difficulty in getting building materials in and out of the site. A location at the edge of the M50 would better suit the entire country, he contended.

A big thing is access from all over Ireland. The hospital is for all of Ireland, not just Dublin. It’s grand for people in Dublin who can hop on the Luas or take taxis. It’s not fair on people from the rest of the country. There are two countries in Ireland – inside the Red Cow and the rest of the country.

‘”Every day you wake up, jobs are being announced for Dublin while rural villages and towns are being let die,” said deputy Healy-Rae. The Kerry TD said the fabric of rural Ireland is being destroyed. He went on to criticise the early morning checkpoints being held as part of the drink-driving crackdown which he said are a huge talking point even among those who don’t drink.

People are being breathalysed while taking their children to school and are frightened, said the TD. “This is going to lead to more isolation and depression as well as suicide and God knows we have had enough of that.

“Farmers have the same routine every season and their only bit of social activity is often to go for a few pints. They can buy a bottle of whiskey and take it home, drinking it with no measure, and fall into depression,” he said. “The emphasis seems to be on early morning checkpoints, even after mass on Sundays, and that’s across every Garda division and county boundary.”