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DART underground plans - Local communities must be respected and jobs secured says McDonald

30 June, 2010

Commenting on the application by Iaranrod Eireann for a Railway Order to allow work on the Dart underground to go ahead, Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald has insisted that the project ‘cannot be steamrolled through local communities and must be value for money’.

The Sinn Féin Vice-President Mary Lou McDonald said while the expansion of the rail network is to be welcomed she was deeply concerned that there has been no proper local consultation.

She said, “It is deeply concerning that there has been no proper local consultation on the project. At a public meeting in East Wall last night, local residents expressed their anger and frustration that Iaranrod Eireann was attempting to steam roll their plans through the area.

“It is unacceptable that communities will only have six weeks to study and make submissions on a project that will seriously disrupt their lives over the six years construction period. Residents need technical expertise to do this. I am calling on Iaranrod Eireann must make funds available to the local community to avail of independent, expert advice. This approach was adopted by the RPA in the case of Metro North. It is the correct and fair approach that needs to be adopted by Iaranrod Eireann.

“In relation to the over all project, while it is welcome, it is alarming that at a time of massive government cutbacks and economic uncertainty that there is no definitive costing for it. We need absolute assurances that the costs associated with this project will not spiral out of control once works begin. We also need to see a local economic benefit from the project in terms of employment. A local labour clause must be used to ensure that a fair share of the estimated 7000 jobs that this project will go to local people.” ENDS

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