Murphy to take on Rural and Community Affairs portfolio in the Seanad

Fianna Fáil senator Eugene Murphy has accepted a request from Taoiseach Michéal Martin to take on the role of the Rural and Community Affairs portfolio in Seanad Éireann.

The senator, who is the sole government representative for Roscommon, said he was “delighted to take on this important role”.

“I was delighted to accept the offer and I assured the Taoiseach I would put my best effort into this area,” he commented.

I will endeavour to use every opportunity to work and deliver to rural communities, but also acknowledging the fact that my role is also to deliver to the wider region.

Murphy said that he would be working closely with the Minister for Social Protection, Community, Rural Development and the Islands, Heather Humphreys, and the Government Chief Whip, Dara Calleary, to make sure that there was a “specific emphasis on economic recovery in the west in the aftermath of Covid-19”.

Jobs stimulus package

“The west in particular will bear the brunt of the fallout in the aftermath of Covid-19 and it is vital that the July jobs stimulus package places particular emphasis on recovery for this region” he explained.

He welcomed the fact that work had begun already on a “significant July jobs stimulus package” which could include “bolstering small and mid-size enterprises, improving grants for businesses and credit lines, while targeting thousands of young unemployed people”.

One of my first priorities will be meeting with Minister Catherine Martin to ensure a speedier delivery of broadband to rural localities and to ensure the quick establishment of broadband hubs.

“So many sectors of society need help, including the small and mid-size enterprises sector and farming community. Housing will also be a top priority along with getting the country back to work,” he concluded.