A response to the Flooding crisis and a lack of response from ComReg on the quality of Broadband and Mobile Phone coverage were the two main items on the agenda of Roscommon Galway Independent candidate Michael Fitzmaurice today.
Speaking earlier he said “Despite the fact that the flooding crisis has gone off the front pages, there are still a lot of people badly affected and the solutions to the flooding will be a complex matter and will involve local solutions to local problems. There is no simple solution to the prevention of flooding into the future. There are specific problems in each area, and if the OPW are serious about solving this problem then they have to listen to the local people in each area as they know best the problems that exist.”
He went on to say that funding to repair damaged roads would have to be found, with the real damage only becoming evident once flood waters had receded and that “We have to ensure that families, small farmers and small businesses who have been badly affected by the flooding receive the compensation that they were promised at the height of the crisis when the TV cameras were there and the photo calls with Ministers and others were going on.”
Poor Broadband and Mobile Phone Coverage is sure to be a hot topic on the door steps over the coming weeks and it was another topic addressed by Mr. Fitzmaurice this morning. “Despite all the announcements that we have had about broadband over the past three or four years, the reality is that many rural businesses and homes are struggling with a service that is Third World in standard at best. The situation with mobile phone coverage is even worse. Travelling around in rural areas there are major blackspots where there is no coverage at all and other areas where the coverage is minimal. The situation seems to be getting worse as time goes on. Once you leave the M50 motorway you cannot be guaranteed proper mobile phone coverage and it is completely unacceptable. Com Reg are supposed to oversee the suppliers of these services and they are not doing their job.” He added that the issue should be a priority for a Minister for Rural Affairs in the new Government.