“In a time of crisis pots of money and rural funds are welcome, but what we need is a systemic change. The transfer of funds from Dublin to rural Ireland in this way underlines that this system is broken.”

That’s according to the leader of Aontú and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín. He said that “M50 visions” are still present within Leinster House, with TDs not being able “to see beyond the M50 motorway”.

Tóibín explained: “The Programme for Government was an opportunity for us to significantly change how this country works. Instead we see the continuation of a policy of ‘social welfare’ for regional and rural Ireland with a fund here and a fund there.

“But all this does is slow down the decline in regional and rural Ireland. It does nothing to change decline into growth.

Wealth, population, infrastructure and investment are concentrating more and more in Dublin. The ‘all roads lead to Dublin’ approach of Fine Gael and the Green Party is all over the Programme for Government.

“The demands of the beef protestors to reform the beef market haven’t been met. The Programme for Government has nothing to replicate Aontú’s Beef Minimum Pricing Bill,” he claimed.

“The proposals would maintain the ‘buyer power’ of the beef barons over the beef farmers. This is a startling indication of the values that would underpin that new Government.”

Programme for Government

He explained: “The Programme for Government does not mention the importing of sub-standard agricultural produce into Ireland from Latin America. This seems to copper-fasten the selling-out of the agricultural sector to the Mercosur countries.

“There are no specific provisions or policies to support the next generations of farmers, only a generic pledge to support – which this Government certainly cannot be trusted with.”