I thank the Minister for his reply which brings a little more clarity. I take this opportunity to press him on it because it is of vital importance to the town of Rathkeale. Arguably, Rathkeale is the second largest town in County Limerick and it has severe social and physical problems, of which I am sure he is aware.
The town is bypassed but it has a massive indigenous Traveller population. Over the summer, we have seen connections with the halting site at Dale Farm in England where the local authority there has ring-fenced £20 million to deal with the issue. There are also connections with Green Acres and the allegations of slavery. There are systemic problems in Rathkeale. Some members of the Traveller community use the Traveller movement as front when, in fact, they are engaged in criminality. Every piece of property which goes on sale in Rathkeale is bought by members of the Traveller community. There are major problems there. I could go on at length but I know there is a restriction on time.
Will the Minister prioritise this? I have met the community council in Rathkeale a number of times, as have the other public representatives. It wrote to the Minister recently and I know this has been passed to the Minister of State, Deputy Penrose, who cannot be here due to ill health. I wish him well and hope he has a speedy recovery. Will the Minister and the Minister of State take the opportunity to meet the local community council and walk through the town street by street? When the Minister of State, Deputy Penrose, was last in the area, he visited Limerick city regeneration. Rathkeale is similar in that there are deep-rooted social problems and derelict properties with all the social fall out which goes with that. Rathkeale needs something similar to the regeneration projects going on in Limerick city.
I would like a commitment that the Minister and the Minister of State will meet the local community council and walk through the town street by street in the near future and take this matter seriously. The situation is so bad that when maps are produced in County Limerick, Rathkeale is omitted. It is the second largest county town, although it might have been overtaken by Kilmallock. Tourism organisations, hoteliers and the agencies promoting the area have dropped the name and symbol of Rathkeale from maps, which is quite serious. Will the Minister prioritise RAPID funding and give us a commitment that in time, he will meet the local community council, although I know he is busy?