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Government should ask EU for regional infrastructure funding – Conway-Walsh

1 February, 2018 - by Rose Conway-Walsh

Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has said that the Government should again seek regional infrastructure funding from the EU in light of the damage from Brexit.

Speaking after she questioned EU Commissioner Mr. Valdis Dombriskis, the Mayo Senator said:

“I asked the Commissioner if the Government has requested a review of the Trans European Network (TEN) projects, in both transport and energy, so that the new reality of Ireland’s geographical position relative to the EU is taken into account. I got the impression that the Commission would be open to such requests but first the government must ask. If we don’t ask we won’t get.

“There are major transport projects across the island currently subject to delay and lack of funding. It is time for the Government to explore all available options, especially given the uncertainty that the Brexit process will bring.

“Brexit and its consequences are exceptional circumstances which should allow for flexibility in state aid rules leading to derogations for Knock Airport and other vital infrastructure.

“With the latest setback regarding the National Broadband Plan, the regional disparity in Ireland is starker than ever. Transport, communications and employment are severely lacking in rural Ireland. If the Government are so committed to improving, they should explore the channel opened by my exchange with the Commissioner this morning by a senior EU official.” 

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