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Thread: Does Connaught have a future?

  1. #1
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    Default Does Connaught have a future?

    Does the West, particularly Connaught, have a viable future?

    A number of planning advocates on p.ie have defined “balanced regional development” as requiring that, ultimately, each distinct region will be financially self-sufficient.

    Consequently, any exercise to define such a “region” should first require a feasibility study to establish that it is indeed capable of achieving self-sustainability in the medium/longer term.

    Connaught: The 5 counties of Connaught have a combined population of 503k and cover an area of 6,763 sq miles. That’s a population density of just 74 persons per sq mile.

    There are only 4 population centres with 10k or more inhabitants - Galway City (72k) , Sligo (18k), Castle bar (11k) and Ballina (10k). When these population centres are stripped out, the population density drops to c. 60 per sq mile.
    This suggests that there are c. 400k inhabitants spread over a wide geographical area in relatively small towns, villages and individual rural homesteads. Counties Galway and Mayo are, after Co Cork, respectively the 2nd and 3rd largest counties by area in the Republic.

    This raises the question about the long-term economic viability of a region such as Connaught funding its own infrastructural maintenance & developments, public transport, health & education facilities, policing etc. without significant changes to the current scattered nature of the distribution of its population, or measures to substantially increase that population.

    For the purposes of comparison:
    Other West Coast Counties (Donegal, Clare, Limerick & Kerry) have a combined population of 581k and cover 5,954 sq miles. That’s a population density of 98 per sq mile.

    Dublin & its satellite counties (Wicklow, Kildare, Meath & Louth) have a combined population of 1.761k and cover 3,012 sq miles. That’s a population density of 585 inhabitants per sq mile.

    Clearly, any infrastructural investment proposal, measured on a “per capita” cost/benefit basis is unlikely to produce a winning business case in Connaught, or the rest of the Western seaboard, when forced to compete for national funding with projects in the more densely populated parts of the country. Likewise, with such low population density, the cost per head of a region such as Connaught funding major developments itself would probably be prohibitive.

    Given that you cannot force business to set-up in the West, or force people to migrate there, what is the likelihood that the region can achieve economic self-sufficiency in the medium/long-term?

    If that is not a viable proposition, should we begin a long-term process to actively depopulate the West, perhaps with the exception of a small number of existing centres e.g. Galway & Sligo? Would such a proposal ever gain political support in Ireland?

    NB: This isn’t intended to be either anti-West or anti-Dublin in sentiment. Rather it is intended to challenge both the pro-West (sometimes anti-Dublin/East) advocates and the anti-West “let them fund it themselves” brigade to contemplate some of the financial, social and political considerations.

  2. #2

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    To hell or to Leinster?

    Connacht will manage it if the will is there both nationally and locally for it to survive. You have raised some valuable points there and you`re probably right about the longterm vialibility of certain isolated villages but at the same time you won`t ever be able to coerce people to leave where they were born.

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    Interesting post mollox. It depends on the region's raison d'etre. It won't ever be the economic engine of the island, but it has the potential to look after itself if the major centres are consolidated, as we discussed on the Knock thread. As you suggested " significant changes to the current scattered nature of the distribution of its population, or measures to substantially increase that population" are required. If the growth in the West's population was focussed into these centres, then there is no reason that infrastructural investments will not deliver value for money.
    We need to radically change every system that has enabled the wholesale destruction of the Irish landscape, rural and urban. There is no time for incremental step by step measures. The systems have failed utterly and the only hope for a real recovery requires the rule book to be torn up completely.

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    Default Re: Does Connaught have a future?

    Quote Originally Posted by mollox
    Does the West, particularly Connaught, have a viable future?
    Connaught was ************************ked a long time ago. Connacht might still have a future.

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    Default Re: Does Connaught have a future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonny O'Neill
    Quote Originally Posted by mollox
    Does the West, particularly Connaught, have a viable future?
    Connaught was ************************ked a long time ago. Connacht might still have a future.
    Aye, yer right thair me Oolster heid! Connacht it is!
    Private profit for public gain!

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    Is it going missing? Global warming or something?

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    Default Re: Does Connaught have a future?

    Quote Originally Posted by mollox
    A number of planning advocates on p.ie have defined “balanced regional development” as requiring that, ultimately, each distinct region will be financially self-sufficient.
    I have not detected any real groundswell of support for "regionalism" in Ireland. It seems like a recipe for the ultimate disintegration of the state.

    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. .

    The notion that "we begin a long-term process to actively depopulate the West" (ie reverse Cromwellianism) is quite frankly ludicrous and Stalinist.

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    Mollox

    I wasn't aware that there was some national plan that each province be selfsufficient.

    Would that mean that Dublin would forget about taking a water supply from the Shannon or any of it's lakes?

    Passport controls to prevent stag and hen parties from Dublin importing Temple Bar vomiting habits to the pristine streets of our tourist resorts?

    On the population spread, there are many towns in Connaught under 10K population with relatively substantial industrial employment.

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    and - don't tell Shell - when the provincial government is set up, we will wait until Shell get the gas ashore and then raise tax on the sale of it to the rest of Europe and live happily ever after.

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    Default Re: Does Connaught have a future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonny O'Neill
    Quote Originally Posted by mollox
    Does the West, particularly Connaught, have a viable future?
    Connaught was ************************ked a long time ago. Connacht might still have a future.
    It gets worse! I still call stations by their proper names e.g. Amiens St, Kingsbridge, Westland Row etc..

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