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Public rail service must be retained and built upon – Ellis

14 March, 2012 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Transport Spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has called on the Minister for Transport to keep Iarnród Éireann in public hands and to build upon the rail network already in place. He made his comments following the government decision not to extend its derogation of EU competition laws which allow for private rail carriers to operate.

Deputy Ellis continued;

“The state has failed since its inception to develop a strong public rail network which serves the entire island. The development of such as system is possible but it requires the impetus of a state dedicated to world class public services for its citizens.

“The current network does not have the capacity to have competition operating on it and it would seem the government’s decision is a precursor to privatisation of the public rail network or Iarnród Éireann as an operator.

“The government is already intent on a fire-sale on Aer Lingus. We cannot sacrifice our connectivity on an international level and then abandon our rail network to private profiteering internally also, all in the name of pleasing the neo-liberal agenda pursued by the likes of the IMF and ECB.

“The public rail network must be maintained in public hands for the interests of Ireland, its people and its economy.” ENDS

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