The Social Democrats have published a research paper showing that a number of Counties suffer disproportionately when it comes to the allocation of public service resource. Meath and Kildare fare very badly with Wicklow not far behind.  The party says current funding systems have disadvantaged area of high population growth across a large number of public services.  Calling these areas ‘the Catch-Up Counties’, the Social Democrats research shows that funding for services such as libraries and fire services is lower as well as having fewer Gardaí, fewer teachers, fewer community health staff and fewer council staff.

The party says Ireland needs to completely re-model how needs are identified and allocate resource accordingly.

Cllr. Jennifer Whitmore the party’s GE candidate in Wicklow said:

“The information won’t come as a surprise to any of us living in Wicklow who are all too aware of just how poorly resourced our county vis-a-vis the growing population we have.  In terms of Gardai, pupil-teacher ratio and the second worst commuting times in the country – Wicklow just does not get a fair share of resources.”

Cllr. Ronan Moore, GE candidate in Meath West said:

“Meath has been one of the fastest-growing counties and is now very much a commuter town to Dublin.  In the period 1996 – 2016 Meath saw the highest population growth in the entire country, yet the services have just not kept pace. As a result, we have an issue with garda numbers, a serious lack of school places to serve the numbers of young families who have made Meath their home and inadequate public transport to serve the County’s commuting needs.”

Party co-leader, Catherine Murphy, who is standing in Kildare North said:

“Kildare has one of the lowest garda to population ratios in Ireland. I have undertaken significant research on this and met with a number of the previous Garda Commissioners and the relevant Ministers to have this issue addressed but very little has been done. Yet mean while burglaries and other crimes continue to increase. The correlation between the two is not a coincidence. That is why it is vitally important that resources are allocated on the basis of need, taking into account census and CSO Data on a regular basis.”

4th Feb 2020


Notes: The policy document Catch Up Counties is available here.

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