Macra Backs Rural Ireland

Macra Backs Rural Ireland

Macra na Feirme today launches their Future of Work and Rural Transport policy documents which both aim to improve the quality of life for those working and living in rural Ireland.

The Future of Work document focuses on three issues that Macra na Feirme believes will be vitally important to workers across Ireland, these include broadband, working hubs and work-life balance.

“Workers will shortly travel back to their places of work, and the internet connection issues which we have all tolerated will become less acceptable. The delivery of these objectives will greatly aid in the development and the revitalisation of rural communities”, shared Macra na Feirme National President John Keane

Covid-19 and the requirement to work from home for many has highlighted the difficulties with broadband quality and availability. There are of course many benefits to working from home, but also a number of difficulties.

“Digital hubs can provide better broadband coverage, reduce isolations and reinforces the links to the community. Significant investment and supports are necessary for a nationwide digital hub footprint”, said Sarah Kelly, chair of the Rural Youth Committee.

The Rural Transport document focuses on reducing the dependence on private car use and investment into the bus and train infrastructure. Macra na Feirme calls for the provision of free travel for under 25s on all public transport.

“It is essential to target this cohort of the population to embed practices earlier on in life and overcome the current reliance on private car use. In order for this to be successful, we need significant investment into rural train and bus networks”, according to John Keane.

In a recent survey, 64% of Macra na Feirme members surveyed said that they were likely or very likely to use public transport if it was available in their area, while 60% of members either agreed or strongly agreed that access to public transport impacted their ability to engage in social activities.

Considerable investment is needed to upgrade bus stops along rural routes including the modernisation and bus tracking for a more user-friendly interface. Restructuring and reducing the everyday commute can also play an active part in the transition to a low carbon economy.

“The work of former Rural Youth chair Shane Quigley, and the Rural Youth committee over the past year must be commended, the vast majority of these policy documents were discussed and drawn up making the use of available broadband coverage showing how important the reliance can be,” told Sarah Kelly.

The Green Route: A future for Rural Transport Document can be viewed at -

Rural Online: The Future of Work in Rural Ireland can be viewed at-