Cllr John McCartin
Recent misinformation about the Western Rail Corridor is damaging to the West of Ireland and does absolutely nothing to progress plans for quality public transport here, Leitrim Councillor John McCartin has said.
McCartin hit back at those who are attacking the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in relation to the Western Rail Corridor.
“Let’s look at the facts, in the best interests of everyone who wants good public transport in The West of Ireland.
“The inclusion of capital infrastructure projects on the European Commission’s Trans-European Transport Network (Ten-T) 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.
“Thanks to the crippling recession experienced by this country, we simply did not have the resources at that stage to commit to that level of investment. We were emerging from the worst economic crash in our history and Fine Gael was attempting to stabilise the ship, balance the books and get the economy growing again.
“The irony that some of those involved with the party who caused that crash, are now attacking the current Government over this issue is remarkable.
“In spite of the very limited resources at the disposal of the Fine Gael Labour Government at the time, the then Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar 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 between now and 2040, which will benefit communities and businesses all across the west of Ireland.”
“It was also Minister Varadkar who Initiated the programme to realign the N16 and awarded the first €1m for the project to Leitrim County Council in 2012.”
“By contrast, our Fianna Fail deputies allowed the greatest boom in the history of the state to pass without any major infrastructural investment in the north west of the country.