Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim, Marc MacSharry has 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.
Then Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar overruled a decision of the last Fianna Fáil government to seek EU financial assistance for a number of infrastructural projects.
Deputy MacSharry added, “These revelations demonstrate that the Taoiseach is totally ignorant of the needs, and the potential, of our regions, particularly the North West.
“The way to realise this region’s potential is to ensure that its connections to the capital and other major cities on the island, such as Galway and Belfast, are improved.
“When this Government speaks of regional development, it’s simply a superficial façade with little or no follow through.
“The contempt and ambivalence towards regional and rural Ireland by Fine Gael in Government over the last seven years is clear for all to see. We now see from these revelations that far from seeking to support, invest and enable the regions to live up to their potential, the Taoiseach while Minister for Transport actively sought to block and undermine it.
“The short sighted decision of the Taoiseach in 2011 to not follow through on these avenues for investment in the North West have severely jeopardised the future opportunity of the State to seek EU support for major transport and other infrastructural projects.
“The West and North West are the bridesmaids to Fine Gael’s bride, the Capital. I’ve said it before that unless you live inside the M50, the Taoiseach and Fine Gael don’t care about you,” concluded MacSharry.