Government continues to neglect infrastructure in the west with latest EU TEN-T funding revelation - Imelda Munster TD
Sinn Féin Transport Spokesperson Imelda Munster TD has described the government’s continued failure to seek a review of the EU TEN-T CORE map as further evidence of this government’s lack of interest in rural infrastructure, in particular in the west and north-west.
Sinn Féin MEP for Midlands North-West Matt Carthy received confirmation this week from the European Commission that the government has not made a request that the EU TEN-T CORE map undergo a review, despite a commitment in the programme for government that such a review would be sought to secure funding for transport projects in the west and north west, including the Western Rail Corridor.
The letter released by Matt Carthy MEP this week was a clear statement from the Director of Mobility & Transport in the European Commission that the Irish government has never applied for a review of the Irish TEN-T map, or for EU funding towards the reinstatement of the Western Rail Corridor.
Deputy Munster said:
“This is another commitment in the programme for government that has been ignored. Some parts of this island are crying out for road and rail infrastructure, in particular along the western seaboard and in the north-west. The government continues to let these areas down.
“The government is letting on that it intends to address this issue, but it has yet to do so.
“Fine Gael, the Independent Alliance - and Fianna Fáil who keep them in power - have serious questions to answer.
“They have continuously delayed and frustrated any opportunity for this project to receive vital EU transport funding, most recently in their behind-closed-doors removal of the Western Rail Corridor’s inclusion within the Connecting Europe Facility.
"Last December, the European Parliament supported Sinn Féin amendments to recognise the Western Rail Corridor as a priority link within the Connecting Europe Facility fund but the Irish government had it removed from the list during secret trilogue negotiations.
“The European Commission will carry out an early review of the TEN-T map, including an open public consultation from the end of April for a period of 12 weeks.
"It is vital that every local and regional authority, and community organisations, in the West and North West of Ireland engage in this process on EU transport funding. It is clear that we cannot depend on the government to do so.
“Without significant improvements in infrastructure these parts of the country will continue to lose out on investment and job creation. I will be raising this matter with the Minister for Transport upon the resumption of the Dáil next month.”