The Northern and Western Regional Assembly (NWRA) is calling on the government to provide a stimulus package worth €570 million to “kickstart development” in western and northern counties.

In its pre-budget submission to the Department of Finance, the NWRA said that the funding is needed to save the regions from “economic stagnation”.

It added that a Citizens’ Assembly should be established to examine how greater levels of regional autonomy can be delivered in Ireland.

The NWRA, which represents counties Donegal; Sligo; Leitrim; Mayo; Galway; Roscommon; Cavan; and Monaghan.

It is one of three regional assemblies tasked with helping strengthen the development of Ireland’s regions in a strategic manner.


The NWRA said that the multi-million-euro stimulus package is necessary to stem “growing regional inequality and to deliver balanced regional development in Ireland”.

It added that the government should adopt a policy of “positive discrimination” for the region in its rollout of infrastructure projects in the National Development Plan (NDP).

The group said this would rebalance “legacy underinvestment of new infrastructure projects for the region”.

The northern and western region of Ireland is officially classified as a “transition region”, which is assigned to regions in which the GDP per capita is between 75% and 100% of the EU27 average.

The EU Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development described the counties as a “lagging region” as they face specific development challenges.

The NWRA said that disposable income per head of population in the northern and western region now stands at 84% of the state average, and 76% of the EU27 average.

Regional imbalance

“A legacy of underinvestment continues to inhibit the growth ambitions of the northern and western region of Ireland,” John Daly, NWRA economist, said.

“Without access to modern road, public transport, health and port services, our region will never be able to provide a meaningful counterbalance to the rapid expansion of the greater Dublin area and avoid the overconcentration of population in the east of Ireland.

“That’s why we are calling on the government to provide the northern and western region with a €570 million stimulus package to kickstart high-valued development and save the region from its economic stagnation,” he added.