July 22nd, 2010 - Pat Breen

Speaking following the publication of the West Clare Economic Task Force Plan, Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen said today (Tuesday), that Local and Central Government must now work together in the same spirit of cooperation to ensure that the Agencies charged with the responsibility for implementing the recommendations of this Report can act upon its findings.

“First of all, I would like to commend all those involved in the compilation of this Report, the various local authorities, job creating agencies, the VEC and the local West Clare Electoral area Councillors, under the Chairmanship of Cllr Christy Curtin for their efforts. Today’s report paves the way for the long-term future sustainable economic and tourism development of West Clare and this multi-agency cooperation is the way forward to ensure that West Clare is best placed to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise when we come out of recession.”

“Given the record of previous Task Force Reports and the frustration which has been expressed here in the Mid West Region when such reports have been left to gather dust in various Government Departments, it is important that this report does not suffer a similar fate.”

“Today’s report proves that local agencies working with local people supported by their local public representatives can be very resourceful in coming up with proposals to develop and create jobs in their own areas. This must be matched, however, by Government support and investment and I would hope that now that we have a Clare Minister sitting at the cabinet table that today’s report will be brought to the attention of the Government and prioritise at the earliest opportunity. And as West Clare Deputy, I will be assisting in every way possible to ensure that the Government prioritises West Clare and gives it is fair share of the national cake, otherwise reports like this will have no affect.”

“West Clare has huge potential for development and spearheading the revival of West Clare are the many vibrant communities who are actively working on the ground to put West Clare back on the Map. A number of recent festivals in Kilrush, Kilkee, Doonbeg and Carrigaholt have made an enormous contribution in showcasing the very best that West Clare has to offer and many more are planned for the rest of the summer. It was a big blow to West Clare, however, this year that the Cois Farraige Festival was cancelled and every effort must be made to secure the necessary funding so that this festival can return next year. For too long the undiscovered beauty and potential which West Clare has to offer has gone unnoticed and a lot more marketing funding is required so that the areas full potential can be optimised.”

“The creation of jobs is critical to the economic resurgence of West Clare and the Government have responsibilities in this regard. The non availability of reliable affordable broadband has hampered companies and individuals who want to set up business in rural areas and the lack of adequate marketing funding has impeded efforts to develop the untapped tourism potential of the area.”

“The recent European Destination of Excellent Award which was awarded to Loop Head and today’s report point to the fact that there is a wealth of talent and know-how in West Clare and a multi-agency approach to getting things done. What is required, now, to drive this forward and to improve the economic and tourism fortunes of West Clare is for the Local Authority and Central Government to work together in the same spirit of cooperation so that those Agencies who are charged with the responsibility for implementing these Recommendations have the necessary funding available to get on with the job.”