The National Development Plan (NDP), which was revealed on Monday (October 4), has come in for some criticism for its perceived lack of commitments for infrastructure in the west of Ireland.
Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice said today (Wednesday, October 6): “Given the fanfare surrounding the publication of this document and the level of funding outlined in it, it give the impression of a child writing to Santa at Christmas – but I fear we may be left disappointed when it comes to some projects.
“What frustrated me the most is the complete lack of serious commitments for much-needed infrastructure in the west of Ireland,” he said.
“The document outlined yet another review of how the Western Rail Corridor could revitalise the region. How many reviews and reports need to be compiled before action is taken? We have been at this stage countless times before.”
The Roscommon-Galway TD pointed to what he said was a lack of objectives in relation to road projects in the west and northwest of the country.
“Where are the commitments for the N26 or the extension of the M17 motorway beyond Tuam? There are countless projects in Sligo and Donegal in similar positions,” he highlighted.
Fitzmaurice added: “The people of the region need concrete dates of when projects will be started, such as the connection between Castlebar and Mullingar.
“If you take Galway Port for example. We are still awaiting decisions there, with no clear path of where it is going in the future.”
“The time for reviews and reports has long passed. The people of rural Ireland need concrete commitments when it comes to crucial pieces of infrastructure to improve connectivity in the region,” he concluded.
Fitzmaurice’s comments are in the same vain as fellow independent TD Marian Harkin, who has said that the “failure to stitch in a commitment” to the delivery of balanced regional development is a “black hole at the heart” of the new NDP.