The people of the Beara Peninsula in west Cork want to see development in the area to stem depopulation.
The problems facing the Beara Peninsula include a lack of investment, poor infrastructure and a declining population
The Beara Peninsula stretches west of Glengarriff to the sea, beautiful, rugged countryside with a grandeur that attracts tourists. But the attitude of those who live there is very clear. You can't eat scenery. We want jobs.
The remoteness of Beara is one of the challenges it faces being situated almost a hundred miles from Cork city and three hundred miles from Dublin. According to the locals, its geographical isolation means that Beara lacks much needed investment. They also argue that the area has a poor telephone industry and very little industry. For many, the only way to make a living is to leave.
One of the many concerns for locals is that much of the land and houses are now being bought up by foreigners, particularly the Dutch. Locals allege that state policy promotes the area as a tourist playground which sits in opposition to the real plight of the region. In the fishing port of Castletownbere alone, there are around two hundred people unemployed.
A big number in a small town.
Eddie Murphy of the West Cork County Development Team outlines how a lack of investment in the region is resulting in a population decline.
A seminar has been organised by various local groups to come up with solutions to the problems facing the region.
Frank O'Mahony seminar organiser outlines proposals to develop underdeveloped land in the region to produce greater agricultural income for farmers in the region.
On the back of the seminar, various sub committees have been established to follow up on proposals. County Councillor Donal Harrington describes how local people have taken it upon themselves to resolve the problems the region faces without political interference. Donal Harrington believes that the blame for the decline in the area rests firmly on the government.
Frank O’Mahony says that more financial aid is required to encourage people to stay in the area.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 January 1981. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney.