28 Sept 2022

Galway council passes vote of No Confidence in An Taoiseach

Key funding applications for West of Ireland projects blocked

An Independent councillor in Galway has had a vote of No Confidence in the Taoiseach successfully passed following revelations that as Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar, pulled support for several infrastructure porjects inthe West and North West.

At the proposal of Independent Councillor James Charity, a motion of No Confidence in An Taoiseach Leo Varadakar was yesterday passed by the elected members of the Athenry-Oranmore Municipal Council in Galway.

It is the first time that a local authority has ever passed a motion of no confidence in the Taoiseach and it comes in light of the revelation last week that An Taoiseach blocked funding applications for key Western based infrastructure projects under the Ten-T process while Minister for Transport.

This includes Galway Airport, which is within the functional area of the Athenry-Oranmore Municipal Council. Other projects included the Western Rail Corridor and Sligo Airport.

A similar motion of no confidence in An Taoiseach will now go before the full Galway County Council meeting in April at Cllr. Charity's proposal.

He said, "The message which An Taoiseach has sent out about the West of Ireland is fundamentally wrong and his decision to omit key Western based infrastructure projects from even an application under the Ten-T process is more than alarming, it is an affront to every man, woman and child living along the Western seaboard and in rural Ireland.

"It is now more clear than ever that there is a two tier political system in operation throughout the Country where the West and rural Ireland is treated as an afterthought to the interests of the wider Dublin region. 

"It's a long time since Cromwell declared "To Hell or to Connacht" but that sentiment appears to remain alive and well to this day with the current Taoiseach's attitude being "To Hell with Connacht".

"The West and rural Ireland is chronically under funded and this region has been crying out for finance for basic services for too long now. Our health and hospital systems are inadequate, through no fault of those working on the front line who are being starved of support and services.

"Our road systems are in decay, with local authorities unable to even fund basic pothole repairs. Traffic in major urban centres of the West, including Galway, is out of control with little to no investment in public transport. 

"On top of all of this, we now learn the Taoiseach pulled funding applications for key Western based projects. This should be the final straw for anyone with the interests of the wider Western region and rural Ireland at heart and raises a serious question about whether a ground up regional political movement to protect the interests of the Western region from Donegal to Clare, taking in the Connacht Counties of Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim, as well as rural parts of the midlands and south west, is needed to act as a counter balance to the political obsession with Dublin," Cllr Charity said.

Deputy Marc MacSharry was also scathing of the Taoiseach's failure to support infrastructure projects in the West.

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