Unemployment, particularly among young people, is the scourge of Inishowen, and there should be more discussion on the crisis as part of the local election campaign.  

That’s the view of two of the peninsula’s candidates in the upcoming County Council race, Independent Ryan Stewart and Fianna Fail’s Martin McDermott.

Mr McDermott has hit out at the Government’s record of job creation in the peninsula, stating young people were being forced to leave the area in their droves in search of jobs.  

He said it was rare to come across a family in Inishowen who did not have someone working overseas: ““It is saddening to meet so many people that have been affected by the twin scourges of unemployment and emigration in our local area. It seems that what is being offered by this Government is simply not good enough.

“We have highly skilled young people, who we are paying to educate, already planning their exit before they have even finished their third level educations. It is a very sad situation.” Meanwhile, Mr Stewart said “less moaning and more answers” were needed regarding the unemployment problem in the area.  

Hitting out at the lack of discussion on the problem from his fellow candidates, he said:  “A common theme on the doorsteps is that people have little enough money to pay their bills now, let alone the additional charges that are being brought in, for example water charges and property taxes." 

“This is a direct result of negative employment policies and Inishowen has been consistently let down. People have no money because there are not enough jobs to go around. The jobs that do exist are not well paid, and people are asking what can be done to bring jobs to Donegal.

“But our jobs crisis is not letting up, and I have heard very little from my opponents in relation to what can be done to stimulate jobs growth in Donegal. Reduction in the dole numbers here are due to forced emigration, but some candidates prefer to gripe and point the finger at Dublin for this with no answers or alternatives being proposed, and while Dublin has a lot of blame to take, if we are going to bring jobs to Inishowen, we have to make it easier to do business in Inishowen.  

“I do not believe that the Council has done enough to create an environment suited to job creation, but it is within our power to do this.” 

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