Does Connaught have a future?

Pauli

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owenfeehan said:
Fionn_McCool said:
On the continent parties like the Lega Nord in Italy and the Christian Social Union of Bavaria also advocate some form of separation for their own regions, but they have not been very successful in the polls. I predict that any political party stupid enough to advocate regionalism in Ireland would quickly suffer the same fate as the PDs.
Not to deliberately nit pick, but fyi, the Christian Social Union is and has been a very successful party at the polls in that has ruled Bavaria basically uninterruped since after WW2. And it doesn't operate anywhere other than Bavaria.

It's recently-departed chairman (Stoiber) also almost became Chancellor of Germany in the Bundestag elections of 2002, being narrowly defeated by Schroeder.... despite the fact the CSU party only operates in Bavaria. The party caucuses with the CDU who operate everywhere else except Bavaria.

Bavarians tend to be quite independent and have tendencies towards Bavarian cultural nationalism to some degree, but the nobody seriously advocates separation, in any form. The German system is pretty federal as it stands.
The CSU is a very successful party and has enjoyed enduring support in Bavaria. It does not advocate separating from the federal republic. It works for them
In Switzerland, the cantons enjoy considerable autonomy and the power of the federal government is limited.

What's wrong with regionalism anyway? (apart from the fact that such a move could give some actual power to the likes of Beverly Cooper-Flynn)
 


Greenandred

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Schuhart said:
Justin Ó Bradáin said:
many people of the middle classes reside there.
what are we supposed to see as significant in this statement? [quote="Justin Ó Bradáin":mbjuyjr2]you seem to be suggesting some sort of mass movement of the people of the west. the west is their home. you seem to be making the west out to be a virtually unpopulated with the exception of galway and roscommon, this simply isnt the case
No, I think the argument is that by choosing to maintain a dispersed settlement pattern the West is the architect of its own problems.[/quote:mbjuyjr2]

What exactly do you mean by the West's 'choosing' to maintain a dispersed settlement pattern?
Perhaps you should read some of the great John Healy's work; it may give you food for thought.
 

joel

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Schuhart said:
mollox said:
Isn’t it a pity that they can’t be as coldly clinical as a planner and just accept the inevitability of their fate? It would be so much less hassle.
Can I firstly suggest that you consider the conditions that people in Connaught were living in 1841 before using that in a context where it might be mistakenly read. Its not the case that we're looking back on some wonderfully regionally balanced Ireland that somehow got lost along the way. When you consider the title of the 'Congested' Districts Board, I think its pretty clear that the West was traditionally overpopulated.

When you use the phrase 'inevitability of their fate' I really wonder what we're supposed to take out of that. Its not as if the alternative to living in Mayo is to be sold as a galley slave. Are we supposed to sit quietly and let the future of the country slip away again because apparently its 'coldly clinical' to object to good money being thrown after bad?

The question is whether we would rather have Irish people find they can make a life in Ireland, with our own Government and what goes with that, or whether we just want to give up on this national project and let people find their lives in London and New York instead. I'm honestly not convinced that many in the West have any commitment to the national concept - if it can't be Mayo, it might as well be London. I see that as them being 'coldly clinical'.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Irish nation? I think it would be a great idea. But if we've no appetite to be a nation, why not stop pretending because we're only confusing each other.

I don't think the people of the West will accept the fate that the British ordaimed again - if you think you can ride roughshod over them then I think there will be trouble.

Forget it. Get your head screwed on the right way and ensure balanced regional development.
 

Schuhart

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Greenandred said:
What exactly do you mean by the West's 'choosing' to maintain a dispersed settlement pattern?
I mean choosing to maintain a dispersed settlement pattern, which includes things like voting for a relaxed approach to one-off housing development.
joel said:
I don't think the people of the West will accept the fate that the British ordaimed again - if you think you can ride roughshod over them then I think there will be trouble.
This is an old thread, and I've no appetite for explaining yet again to a row of gobbers basic facts about the country they live in. But, to address your point, I've absolutely no illusions about the extent to which 'save the West' types don't give a toss about the impact of their demands on the rest of the country. Which sort of makes your statement an empty threat - what damage is there left for you to inflict?
joel said:
Forget it. Get your head screwed on the right way and ensure balanced regional development.
The key to balanced regional development, if that's what people in the West want, is in their own hands. So far, they've decided they don't really want it.
 

Brocolli

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Interesting topic Mollox.

In my view the answer is yes.

Economics exists to enable a society to trade and prosper. Not the other way around.

If your arguments are applied to Ireland as a whole, then the whole country is not economically viable, yet we recently posted the second highest GDP per capita in the EU.

The fact is that those of us who choose to live in Galway actually like the place. The challenge is to make sure that it is economically viable.

Overall your argument is absurd. For example if Derry City and Galway City are both economically viable but the rest of Connacht is not do those who wish to travel between the two cities have to fly or take the long way round?

The fact is that the nation exists as a whole. I'd love to see Dublin trying to grow all its own food, dispose of its own waste, provide it's own electricity, drink its own water. It's just not realistic.

Our four provinces have proud histories and proud cultures. That's what makes them relevant. Not a few euros and cents.
 

Schuhart

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Brocolli said:
Overall your argument is absurd. For example if Derry City and Galway City are both economically viable but the rest of Connacht is not do those who wish to travel between the two cities have to fly or take the long way round?
Would you like to reflect on who is being absurd here? In fact, the absurdity of your use of the word absurd here?
 

essexboy

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alonso said:
Defeated Romanticist said:
Instad of balanced regional development, which suggests spreading economic development over one region equally, the regions should be treated as separate parts of a whole like we do for Tourism(even though that is a totally naff strategy for tourism)
Connacht must focus its economy onto where it can derive a comparitve advantage. Galway, Knock, Athlone and Sligo should be the areas focused on as the economic dynamos of the region.
Connacht is not the only disadvantaged area in Ireland. My own county of Wexford was the 6th poorest county in Ireland the last time I checked, despite many natural advantages
I wouldn't define "balanced Regional Development" as spreading development over one region. I would define it more in terms of development proportionate to the assets of the region, which include traditional place in the hierarchy. In other words, if a region / county / townland / town has nothing to offer, then nothing should be pumped into it, over and above public services, just for the sake of it.

And yes, you're spot on about Connacht focussing it's economy, but as Schuhart said, it will never ever happen. Why in the name of God is there an Airport in Knock (did I just answer my own question?) instead of Sligo/Ballina etc? Why are they building a rail corridor to carry no-one while the cities choke? It's all nonsense, but after May 07, I have no sympathy for anyone on this island who complains about investment, healthcare, education and traffic. Ireland made it's bed, and Ireland can lie in it. The West therefore has no future.
Why in the name of God is there an Airport in Knock (did I just answer my own question?) instead of Sligo/Ballina etc?
Market forces! Knock airport is busy, Sligo and Galway are not. Knock offers flights to all 4 London airports, Sligo just offers flights to Manchester etc.
 

Schuhart

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essexboy said:
Market forces! Knock airport is busy, Sligo and Galway are not. Knock offers flights to all 4 London airports, Sligo just offers flights to Manchester etc.
It has very little to do with market forces and quite a bit to do with Galway not being able to take jets.
 

Fallen Angel

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This discussion is quite frightening as we're talking about the "organised removal" of people eastwards from their native lands. Does this remind anyone of any other event in WW2 history.

Connaught's pre-famine population was 1.3m however today it's at just over 0.5m. The same can be said about Munster which had a pre-famine population of 2.4m but today has just 1.2m.

Sure why not stop at moving people from Connaught eastwards, why not just go one step further to move 1.2 million people from Munster into Leinster.

Ireland is made up of 4 "proud" provinces, not Ulster, Munster, Leinster and a national park(called..Connaught), that's just plain nonsense.

What Connaught does need is a more detailled plan for the future. There needs to be a second city in Connaught preferably Sligo or Castlebar which could see their populations increase if the will at Govt level is there and there needs to be more investment in rail.
 

Schuhart

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And the award for chronic overstatement of a case goes to …
Fallen Angel said:
This discussion is quite frightening as we're talking about the "organised removal" of people eastwards from their native lands.
No-one is talking about the organised removal of anyone from anywhere. What we have talked about is the inevitability of the East’s share of national population increasing, because of the unrealistic and ultimately counterproductive blind advocacy approach of ‘save the West’ types.
Fallen Angel said:
Does this remind anyone of any other event in WW2 history.
No, but your statement reminds me of the kind of massive exaggeration that ‘save the West’ types indulge in. I commented already in this thread that its not as if the alternative to living in Mayo is being sold as a galley slave. Nor is it a gas chamber – and you might consider your choice of this comparison on grounds of simple taste. Not that 'save the West' types ever had much consideration for anyone else. Why do we let them get away with it?
Fallen Angel said:
Connaught's pre-famine population was 1.3m however today it's at just over 0.5m.
And, as already pointed out, those 1.3 million lived in dire poverty, as Connaught was overpopulated. It would seem to make perfect sense to say all we are seeing is our population structure returned to its natural balance.
Fallen Angel said:
The same can be said about Munster which had a pre-famine population of 2.4m but today has just 1.2m. Sure why not stop at moving people from Connaught eastwards, why not just go one step further to move 1.2 million people from Munster into Leinster.
Is this a sort of ham-fisted attempt to rile up people in Munster? There’s simply no logic to your statement at all.
Fallen Angel said:
Ireland is made up of 4 "proud" provinces, not Ulster, Munster, Leinster and a national park(called..Connaught), that's just plain nonsense.
So does ‘balance regional development’ mean blindly stuffing a house into every field in the country? Or does it mean population in balance to what each region can support?
Fallen Angel said:
What Connaught does need is a more detailled plan for the future. There needs to be a second city in Connaught preferably Sligo or Castlebar which could see their populations increase if the will at Govt level is there
The problem isn’t lack of will in Government, which has happily poured good money after bad in response to ‘save the West’ campaigns. The problem is the lack of will within the West to develop and commit to a coherent plan, instead of banging on Government for the next white elephant.
Fallen Angel said:
and there needs to be more investment in rail.
Speak of the devil. Population would need to be far more concentrated for rail to make any contribution to transport in the West. There’s at least decades to go before you need to think about it. In the meantime, the West already has far more access to rail services than many parts of the county. If you truly thing rail drives growth, work with the underused rail services that you have before looking for more albino Proboscidea.
 

Cashel Hill

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Does Connaught have a future? Judging by Schuhart's contributions on all threads related to the west and its infrastructure, I'd reckon Cromwell had more regard for the province then he does. Sure why should us poor auld western peasants expect anything, bar a few crumbs from the Dublin table?
 

Schuhart

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essexboy said:
Ultimately we’re all related. But I’m actually a character from a book called ‘Roadside Picnic’
Cashel Hill said:
Does Connaught have a future? Judging by Schuhart's contributions on all threads related to the west and its infrastructure, I'd reckon Cromwell had more regard for the province then he does.
All I do is mirror back the kind of thing that ‘save the West’ types say about the East. But, apparently, sauce for the goose is just for the goose in the Western mindset.
Cashel Hill said:
Sure why should us poor auld western peasants expect anything, bar a few crumbs from the Dublin table?
The point is, of course, that the West gets a damn sight more than a few crumbs, and ‘save the West’ types actively seek to obstruct necessary developments in the East.

When it comes down to it, where do ‘save the West’ types get their screwy ideas? I mean, take Broccoli’s comment earlier in this thread when he says
I'd love to see Dublin trying to grow all its own food
As if Dublin is meant to be grateful to the West for the food we pay for – at EU prices. I mean, look at how screwy his statement is. We’re supposed to be grateful to the ‘feck the customer’ Western farmer who lives by the cheque from the Department of Agriculture. Dublin has more reason to be grateful to Lidl and Aldi for turning up and bringing some price competition to the food market.

Does Broccoli really think that supermarket shelves are full because of the benevolence of the farmer? Could he truly believe such an inane remark has content? I mean, you’d sort of accept it in a primary schoolchild’s essay. But this is someone with an ambition to serve in the national parliament – apparently with a view of the Irish food industry borrowed from Barney the Dinosaur.

Where do these attitudes come from? Are they never challenged? I’m frankly stunned at how this kind of nonsense seems to spring to the lips (and the keyboard) so readily.
 

mollox

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Schuhart said:
essexboy said:
Ultimately we’re all related. But I’m actually a character from a book called ‘Roadside Picnic’
Roadkill Picnic would seem much more apt for Schuhart.

Schuhart said:
Cashel Hill said:
Does Connaught have a future? Judging by Schuhart's contributions on all threads related to the west and its infrastructure, I'd reckon Cromwell had more regard for the province then he does.
All I do is mirror back the kind of thing that ‘save the West’ types say about the East. But, apparently, sauce for the goose is just for the goose in the Western mindset.
Schuhart said:
Cashel Hill said:
Sure why should us poor auld western peasants expect anything, bar a few crumbs from the Dublin table?
The point is, of course, that the West gets a damn sight more than a few crumbs, and ‘save the West’ types actively seek to obstruct necessary developments in the East.
Schuhart suffers from an extreme form of persecution complex, where he sees the West constantly rob Dublin and get away with it. His anger, fueled by this blatant injustice, is exacerbated by his core belief that "cost benefit analysis" is the only measure to be employed in making investment decisions. He's clearly an angry PD, who believes we live in an economy rather than a society and his ambitions in this regard have been somewhat thwarted by the abject failure of that party at the recent elections.

If Schuhart had his way, we wouldn't be wasting the existing money spent on the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis sufferers, never mind talking about improving their care. Sure even with improvements, they're only going to live half the life span of the rest of the population.
And as for investing in special needs education, how can that be justified when Dublin has so many unmet needs in infrastructure, A&E Depts etc etc.?
 

Schuhart

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mollox said:
If Schuhart had his way, we wouldn't be wasting the existing money spent on the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis sufferers, never mind talking about improving their care. Sure even with improvements, they're only going to live half the life span of the rest of the population.
And as for investing in special needs education, how can that be justified when Dublin has so many unmet needs in infrastructure, A&E Depts etc etc.?
As usual, as the points I raise are valid and people find they cannot contradict them, the attempt is made to refute things that I don't say.

What I actually feel is that our resources should be used to meet real needs, including things like the special needs education. I've also clearly stated on several occassions that I think resources in the health services should be targetted to achieve the best outcomes, and not just to keep public sector payrolls going in small towns. '

Save the West' types, on the other hand, resist all attempts to allocate public spending to where it can help those who need it. Instead, they advocate any and all spending on the West. They are apparantly happy to see cancer patients facing the poor prospects, so long as the West gets to grasp some publically funded trophy.

Why they do this is not clear as they seem incapable of explaining. Maybe they don't know themselves.
 

mollox

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Schuhart said:
Save the West' types, on the other hand, resist all attempts to allocate public spending to where it can help those who need it. Instead, they advocate any and all spending on the West. They are apparantly happy to see cancer patients facing the poor prospects, so long as the West gets to grasp some publically funded trophy.
Absolutely typical of the completely OTT Crappola you seem to believe passes for fact.
 

retep

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It's an interesting hypothesis Mollix and one that deserve considered debate rather than the knee jerk hysteria that some of us in the West are capable of.

With regard to some of the issues raised in the thread:

Why in the name of God is there an Airport in Knock?
Actually IWAK - Ireland West Airport Knock (Not a very sensible name I admit!) is located 2 miles north of Charlestown less than a mile from the junction of two of the countries major National Primary routes, the N17 and the N5 and within 3 miles of part of the Western Rail Corridor Claremorris to Sligo spur. On that basis alone it seem a fairly logical and strategic location for such a major piece of infrastructure. Of course if the infrastructural and strategic economic investment around IWAK kept pace with the efforts of those currently running the facility such as the granting of a Duty Free Zone around the airport, somethin long withheld by some senior nameless Civil Servant who has resolved to deny this for whatever his personal reasons so long as he continues to have the power to do so. However that's jsut IWAK and the basic infrastructural considerations.

There was an excellent documentary on TG4 on Wed eve about Inishark near Inishboffin out from Clifden and its depopulation in 1960 by an indifferent Govt. It was and illustration somwhat in minature of this very discussion, as to whether central Govt should direct funds to underprivelaged and possibly uneconomically viable areas on culture or sentimental or emotive grounds alone and it portrayed a very good series of arguments for this.

Of course this begs the questions of what exactly economically viable is and what weighting or basis of measurement does the concept of quality of life and other such factors play in the debate?

To give but two examples based on relatively decent telecommunications facilities, the entire West Region Fire Service for Connaught and Donegal is controlled from a regional control centre in Castlebar. The entire Gardai PULSE System input centre is also based in Castlebar. Whilst neither of these is dependent on relative good physical infrastructural links such as roads, airports, etc they are facilitated by an adequate telecommunications capability which still is poorly lacking outside the main centres - For example Decent Bandwith Broadband is still not available probably outside a 5km radius of Galway city.

The development of Sligo or Castlebar into major population centres is not a viable runner - all one has to do is look at the travesty that Galway has been allowed to develop into due to appaling planning (with essentially one inadequate and now outdated Bypass across the Quincentennial bridge and a Western Distributor Road and a series of chaotic roundabouts supposedly able to facilitate the movements of 50k+ people per day) to see that this is not a realistic way to go.

Also the concept of a car dependent West is not entirely the way forward either althought he lack of viable public transport consistently pushes the bias towards road and car dependancy.

I believe the concept of a National Park Status of Connaught whilst initially seeming fairly far fetched mightn't be such a crazy idea after all, albeit in a radically different concept of a national park, whereby vast areas of Mayo and Connemara are allocated specifically or predominantly for recreation and tourism for those trying to escape the huge urban sprawls and the main economy in Mayo is serving the needs of these tourists in terms of accomodation, activities, culture, language tuition, etc wheras a Marine focused industry with an emphasis on Food processing and Import/Export from a major new Western Seaboard port is developed around say Sligo/South Donegal and Co Leitrim and Roscommon becomes a world renowned centre for organic farming/Green Initiaves and Eco tourism/Alternative lifestyles.

All this is on the basis of building on our current strengths, rather than trying to import or create those (along with all the social problem) of a major urban centre. I enjoy living in the country among green fields and with convenient access to external outdoor living and activities. I have no desire to live in a town, let alone a city and would defend that right to then end, wrongly or rightly, against such imposition by a national Govt.

I would like to be less car dependent or fossil fuel dependent but the lack of economic incentives to do so are currently prohitive enough for me to easy abide witha laissez faire attitude, with little or no bio fuel production or availability West of the Shannon whilst meanwhile Central Govt plan to pipe the vast majority of my provences major natural resource straight out of the provence and on to the major urban centres. If my provinces economic viability or worth were based on this premise alone then Connaught would be probably considered more economically viable than Louth or Wicklow!

Equally there is curently a plan afoot to make the Iniskea Islands off the Mullet Peninsula in North Mayo a SAC - Protected area which woulld likely prohibit their future developent for say off shore wind or wave generated power, even though such depopulated off shore islands are probabaly the most ideal locations for such "industries".

Minister O'Cuiv continues to forge ahead with his dictatorial blinkered policy of ethnic cleansing all roadsigns relating to Gaeltacht areas (Even all those outside the Gaeltacht) so that non natives travelling within the Gaeltacht areas of Connaught are now left totally bewildered and confused with roadsigns that bear no realtion to what they either see on maps or read in guidebooks as well as in most official publications.

So that's it. My initial thoughs on the subject even though I'm sure more will occur to me during the day as I ruminate inspired by my view of the mountains, green fields and bogs surrounding me and braced by the clean fresh Atlantic air!!!
 


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