Serious questions for Cavan Monaghan government reps after ‘Clontibret to border’ road shafted again – Matt Carthy TD
Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy has said that Cavan Monaghan government-supporting representatives have ‘serious questions to answer’ after it was revealed that the Clontibret to the Border road scheme has been again excluded from financed projects this year. That is despite the fact that other projects which were previously denied funding have been now included due to pressure from government TDs and Senators.
The Clontibret to the Border scheme was included in the National Development Plan but it emerged in January that it had been ‘shelved’ from funding by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).
But, this week, the Minister responsible, Eamon Ryan, reversed the decision to shelve other projects due to demands from Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil representatives in those affected constituencies. This begs the question, Carthy says, as to the role of Cavan Monaghan government representatives with regard to the Clontibret to the border scheme.
Deputy Carthy said:
“The government must restore funding to allow progress to the next planning phase of the Clontibet to the border N2 road scheme. It is a crucial piece of infrastructure for the economic development of our county and region that have been poorly served by successive governments, particularly in respect of public transport.
“My previous assertion that a cabinet instruction to Minister Eamon Ryan will ensure that TII earmark this road as a priority project has been confirmed by the decision to restore funding to other projects in the south of the country.
“This move clearly begs the questions of Minister Heather Humphreys and other government-supporting representatives in this constituency: What have they done to restore funding to this project? Why have they not been as successful in reversing the decision to stall this vital project while their colleagues have done so?
“The upgrading of the N2 from Clontibret to the border is vital if we are to enhance economic activity in this region. We remember the lofty words of Government representatives at major launches such as Our Rural Future, the shared island initiative and the many launches for the National Development Plan. Those words count for little when placed alongside the failure to provide for this project.
“Money that was meant for this road went instead to pet projects of the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan.
“The failure to allocate funding for this road could permanently condemn a project that was a key component of several peace process talks and is an integral infrastructure project for a region that has no rail network and a pathetic level of public transport options.
“It is unfair to ‘sterilise’ the land of Monaghan landowners while this project is suspended indefinitely. Therefore, our local government representatives, including the Minister for Rural Development, have serious questions to answer as to their efforts in reversing this decision.
“More importantly, they need to outline what they will now do to re-prioritise this project by securing the necessary 2022 funding allocation that will allow planning works to proceed.”