Carthy accuses constituency FF/FG reps of staying silent on Monaghan Roads
Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has said that his constituency Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael colleagues ‘must have stayed silent’ following the decision of government to withdraw funding from the N2 Clontibret to the Border Road scheme.
Speaking during statements on Transport in the Dáil last week Deputy Carthy said that the road network in County Monaghan was in a deplorable state.
There was much criticism of Transport Minister Eamon Ryan during the debate – the title of the statements was changed at the last minute to ‘Transport, Accelerating Sustainable Mobility’ and during his address Minister Ryan failed to mention the turmoil of recent days at Dublin Airport. Deputy Carthy said that the Transport Minister was ‘out of his depth.’
“This is some farce. We are here to make statements on transport and the Minister for Transport is not even here. He has left. The Minister of State who is here is not even assigned to the Department of Transport.
“When the Minister did speak, he spoke for 20 minutes without reference to the one aspect of transport policy that the whole country is talking about, the debacle at Dublin Airport.
“Even if we were to take into account the new language the Department has insisted we use, around accelerating sustainability and mobility, the Minister’s remarks simply tell me there are two realities in this country – the reality that goes on in Eamon Ryan’s head and the reality facing the real people of Ireland, constituents such as mine.
“I come from a county and a region that has no rail network and this Government has zero plans to change that. Anybody relying on public transport relies on the bus services, which are minimal at best. That is being generous.
“Unless you are going to Dublin city centre, there is virtually nowhere you can get a public bus to from my constituency. If people do decide to get the bus, the bus station is in an embarrassing state. Again, the Minister will not intervene in that regard.
“The people who travel by bus by and large have to travel by private operators. They get no benefit whatsoever from the so-called discounts for public transport. When the Government introduced a 50% reduction for young people last October, I challenged the Minister on the fact that that discount would not be available to many of my constituents. Nothing has been done since. When the 20% reduction across the board was introduced as a temporary so-called cost-of-living measure, it was again not applicable to many of the people I represent.
“The truth is that many people in Monaghan rely on their cars. While the cost of travelling to work or dropping children to school has been increasing, the Government has sat on its hands and introduced very few measures to target those costs. In fact, I would argue there are some people in government who are actually quite smug about the fact that fuel prices have increased.
“Our road network is in a deplorable state. Local roads across County Monaghan and similar counties are in a desperate state while the Government takes money from the road network to put into pet projects.
“There is no better example than the N2, which would be a major artery to the north west. This year, the Government removed money from the section of that road going from Clontibret to the Border and put it into the Minister’s pet projects.
“When pressure was exerted by Government Members from different parts of the country, unfortunately the Government representatives from Cavan-Monaghan must have stayed silent because the project has now been shelved, according to this Minister.
“The Minister is quite clearly out of his depth. I hope he will prove me wrong by starting to fund projects that will actually ensure people can drive to work after paying their road tax”.