Last week’s budget announcement from Minister Howlin and Noonan offers little comfort to people living alone in isolated rural areas especially the elderly. We seen very modest increases to the old age pension, fuel allowance and the 75% increase to the Christmas bonus but Irish Rural Link question the impact these measures will have on the most isolated in society. The allocation of funding for 600 new Gardaí recruits and surveillance operated is seen as some little comfort in the short term to people living in fear of roaming gangs but acknowledge it is a starting point. These 600 recruits are not additional support for An Garda Síochána instead they are compensating for the reduction in Garda numbers over the last five years. The latest Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show there was an 8.4pc increase in burglaries during the 12 months up to the end of June 2015. It is not just the rise in burglaries that is worrying but it is the increasingly violent nature of these criminal gangs that most fears rural residents.http://www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/releasespublications/documents/crimejustice/2015/recordedcrime_q12015.pdf). An Garda Síochána are working to their full capacity with the limited resources available to them and in the past week they have arrested a criminal gang in Limerick believed to be responsible for a series of robberies around the country. (http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/fifth-man-arrested-in-rural-crime-crackdown-31611490.html) [Read more…] about Addressing Future Demands
There is a date in the future when the good people in bank of Ireland will have moved on and be replaced by some kind of artificial intelligence. These will probably look like human beings, but will clearly lack the traits necessary to denote humanity. It will not be surprising then if they make decisions on a regular basis that on the face of it will exclude the concerns of ordinary people.
Their decisions will look like the one announced on Tuesday, by the Bank of Ireland to limit the interaction between human beings for tasks such as lodging or taking out sums of money over the counter. They will happily justify paperless billing, even though not everyone uses or has access email, either because they have no internet connectivity or they have not learned how to use it. The corporate message, completely devoid of irony will promote the new era of modern banking and in a very subtle way smooth over the concerns and practical difficulties which this will cause to some of its customers.
Irish Rural Link- – the national network representing the interest of rural communities is disappointed by Bank of Ireland’s announcement that they are restricting cash withdrawals and lodgements in its branches. Customers will no longer be allowed to withdraw cash with a teller unless the amount is more than €700 while the bank has limited cash deposits and cheque lodgements with the assistance of a staff member to amounts over €3,000.
Irish Rural Link believes these restrictions will negatively affect people especially those who don’t have the resources or capacity to use online banking or self service devices. Many rural areas do not have sufficient levels of broadband to access online banking while many people are untrained to use the facilities. [Read more…] about Irish Rural Link disappointed by Bank of Ireland’s banking restrictions.
The Wheel and Volunteer Ireland (supported by individual Volunteer Centres) will host a nationwide information campaign at 17 locations across Ireland.
Click here for more information: CRA Information Campaign (pdf)
IRL policy researchers have clearly identified that the need for competition in credit lines for SMEs is vital to facilitate a more uniform economic development across rural areas and by its design, across the country as a whole.
To address this deficit IRL calls for the setting up of a nationwide network of “Local Public Banks”, which are managed independently but with an identical business model working under both a uniform management and ethical principles. Such banks would facilitate the development of regional based economies through the creation of a virtuous economic cycle within the regions while also folding its profits back into the local communities.
[Read more…] about Irish Rural Link advocates a network of regionally based “Local Public Banks” for Ireland
Visions. The modern ones relating to rural Ireland started with Éamon de Valera, when in 1943 in a St Patrick’s day radio address he asserted in what’s known as the ‘Comely Maidens speech’ (wildly miss-quoted) that, “The Ireland that we dream of, would be the home of a people who valued material wealth only as a basis for right living, of a people who, satisfied with frugal comfort, devoted their leisure to the things of the spirit – a land whose countryside would be bright with cosy homesteads, whose fields and villages would be joyous with the sounds of industry, with the romping of sturdy children, the contest of athletic youths and the laughter of happy maidens, whose firesides would be forums for the wisdom of serene old age”. [Read more…] about Rural Visions