The Macra na Feirme Rural Youth Committee has announced it has begun a nationwide consultation with Macra members in Donegal and elsewhere to develop a comprehensive overview of issues young people are facing in rural Ireland and how those challenges can be overcome. The announcement comes in the wake of a report by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland which found that rural towns in Ireland are suffering from a long drawn out decline.

Rural Youth Chair Ger Mahon said, 'The findings of the SCSI report are no surprise and only strengthens the view, long held by many in rural Ireland that we are forgotten about in terms of economic growth. In a technological era, broadband plays a pivotal role in economic prosperity and is key to the future development of any business. However, the fact that broadband along with other strategic infrastructure continues to be a luxury of urban classes only serves to provide further reason for those in rural Ireland to feel left behind.'

Macra na Feirme National President James Healy said, ‘Macra na Feirme represents the young people of rural Ireland, and they must be given the opportunity and resources to allow them to bring a vibrancy and dynamism to the future of rural Ireland. With this in mind, the consultation will discuss the challenges, but also the opportunities that can be brought about by supporting our rural youth.’

Mr. Mahon added, 'Macra's Rural Youth Committee have set out to gain a greater understanding of what our members see are the biggest issues and opportunities of life outside the urban zones. Rural Ireland can and will thrive again but only if we are given the opportunities and incentives to make it happen. Continuous investment will play a major role in that, but the investment must be strategic in order to be effective.’

The committee hope to present their findings early in the new year.

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