An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
Yesterday we carried a story entitled 'Taoiseach threw North West under the bus by pulling application for N16 funds' in which Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim, Marc MacSharry slammed the decision of then Minister for Transport, and now Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar to not seek funding from the EU for major roads such as the critical N16 north-south connector, and many more infrastructure projects.
Within hours the governments issued the following reponse to us: "The inclusion of capital projects on the Ten-T network had no impact on whether they were funded by the Government at the time.
"If successful, Ireland still would have been required to cover the vast majority of the cost of the projects, as the EU funding would have only covered a minority element. The country simply did not have the resources at that stage to commit to that level of investment, as it was only just emerging from the worst economic crash in its history.
"In spite of these extreme conditions and limited resources, the previous Government under Leo Varadkar as Transport Minister initiated the Gort to Tuam motorway, the biggest ever infrastructure project in the west. This is just one part of the Atlantic Road Corridor proposed in the Government’s development plan, Project Ireland 2040, which will be extended further to Limerick and Cork via the M20. Project Ireland also proposes countless other significant projects in the west between now and 2040."