Gaeltacht Minister Sean Kyne TD launched a public consultation process for a new national policy for Ireland’s offshore islands today.

It marks the first cross-Government policy developed for the islands in 23 years and aims to set a roadmap for their long-term sustainability and development.

The policy will deal with all areas of island life from housing, health, energy, waste management, climate change, education, communication, employment and transport.

As part of the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht workshops will be held with island communities over the next three months to shape policy.

There are 30 inhabited islands along the Irish coast including Achill Island and Clare Island in Mayo.

Tanaiste Simon Coveney accompanied Minster Sean Kyne at today’s launch of the policy on Sherkin Island, Co. Cork .

Minster Kyne said that ‘Consultation with island communities and other stakeholders will feed into cross-Government national policy for the sustainable development of the islands.’

‘The Government has invested €100m in 20 years into capital infrastructure to implement recommendations of the last Inter-Departmental Islands Committee,’ continued Minister Kyne.

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