The lack of discussion on agriculture or the flooding crisis by Party Leaders on TV Debates is “astounding” according to Independent candidate for Roscommon Galway Michael Fitzmaurice.
“We have heard over four hours of debate on national television from all our party political leaders yet there has been absolutely no debate whatsoever on agriculture or the flooding crisis.”For many people in rural areas and in this constituency in particular, the flooding that hit many small farms and small businesses from early December onwards devastated many people’s lives and there was huge damage inflicted as we all know. The politicians of all parties were falling over themselves in an attempt to be photographed at that time but now the flooding issue seems to have fallen off the priority list altogether which is a disgrace. There are many families and business people still awaiting compensation, there is a massive clean up operation to be done and many roads are in a terrible state because of the flooding and in need of urgent repair. In addition, many local communities want to know what the new Government are going to do to prevent flooding in the future yet there is not a word out of any of them about this issue. It shows the disconnect between the politicians and many people who live in rural Ireland. In fact it is a scandal that these matters are not on the election agenda nationally”
“Similarly, there has been very little debate about the future of agriculture in this campaign despite the large number of important issues that I and others have been raising on a constant basis in the recent past. There has been no mention about the plight of young farmers, delays in payments, cattle prices, milk prices and many other issues that are affecting one of our biggest industries. In fact it is hard to credit that we have had so many hours of national TV debate and apparently no concern whatsoever in these major topics which affect people in rural Ireland directly” he concluded.