News

South Armagh and Newry make top 100 deprived areas

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

South Armagh and Newry make top 100 deprived areas thumbnailSinn Féin MLA, Megan Fearon

EIGHT of the top 100 most deprived areas in Northern Ireland are in the Newry, Mourne and Down district, new figures have revealed.

That's the third highest behind Belfast and Derry and Strabane councils, and four of the eight are in South Armagh.

The statistics, revealed by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, measure the income, employment, health and disability figures along with education, access to services, living environment and crime and disorder.

Crossmaglen (57), Creggan (72), Silverbridge (94) and Forkhill (100) are the areas listed in the South Armagh area, while Drumgullion (70), Daisy Hill (75) and Ballybot (93) from Newry City make the top 100.

Murlough, in South Down is listed 89th.

The figures have led to Sinn Féin MLA, Megan Fearon, claiming that the "disastorous Tory austerity strategy" was driving the increase in deprivation.

She said that tackling poverty and bringing equality to rural areas was the strategy needed to address the issue.

Ms Fearon said: "There are many factors which contribute to rural poverty and isolation. These include poor access to basic services such as health and recreation, sporadic broadband coverage and poor access to public transport.

"All of these factors can be compounded by a stressful and solitary working environment and a lack of financial investment in rural areas. However the driving factor is the disastrous Tory austerity policy which has overseen attacks on our Public Services and ultimately the most vulnerable in our society.

"The strategy needed to solve challenges of deprivation is one of tackling poverty and bringing equality to rural areas not a failing and ruthless Tory Austerity strategy which has forced families and whole communities into poverty, deprivation and ill health."

Her comments were backed up by her party colleague, Newry and Armagh MP Mickey Brady.

"Whilst the figures have just been published and need to be carefully studied, it is already evident from them that substantial inequalities still exist between and within communities," he said.

"These inequalities need to be robustly tackled if we are going to improve the lives of everyone and help them fulfil their true potential."

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