Rural Independent Group ‘willing to enter government formation discussions’

The newly-configured membership of the Rural Independent Group is “ready and willing to enter government formation discussions with all of the main political parties,” according to independent TD Mattie McGrath.

Deputy McGrath was speaking after he was nominated and reappointed as convenor of the group.

He explained: “All the members of our group recognise the clear and fundamental shift that has occurred in Irish politics over the course of the last few days. The electorate, both rural and urban, are demanding change.”

The group includes deputies such as:
  • Michael Collins;
  • Michael Healy-Rae;
  • Carol Nolan;
  • Danny Healy-Rae.

The decision from the group comes following a meeting in Portlaoise yesterday, Wednesday, February 12.

Continuing, McGrath said: “What we are saying today is that we stand ready to play our part in advancing that change by helping to create the conditions in which rural Ireland can flourish and grow.

Rural communities in particular feel that they were left behind by the outgoing government.

“They felt increasingly betrayed by an almost entirely Dublin-centric policy emphasis overseen by a government that appeared to have little or no natural feeling or understanding for the rural way of life.

“Such an attitude has no place in any Irish government.

“We want to ensure that the voices and concerns of our communities are heard.

We are not interested in furthering any kind of rural/urban divide. We are only seeking fairness and an equal distribution of resources and infrastructure supports regardless of where you live.

“We are open to any kind of constructive engagement that will help bring this about,” he concluded.