Sinn Féin TD for Mayo, Rose Conway-Walsh, has called for fairer investment in rural communities following decades of government failure.
She was speaking in the Dáil as she introduced the party’s motion on fairer rural development. The motion calls for clarity on projects in the National Development Plan, and to commit to the delivery of the Western Rail Corridor extension to Mayo as well as other key projects to meet the needs of people living in towns, villages and rural communities.
Teachta Conway-Walsh said:
“The National Development Plan was the litmus test of the Government’s commitment to regional development – a test they have failed.
“We have decades of evidence of how successive governments have failed to deliver for rural Ireland. Not least that the West is categorised by the EU as a region in transition.
“We desperately need state-led investment in infrastructure, but sadly we seem to have another government unwilling to lead.
“We have 94,000km of regional and local roads across the state that provide vital connectivity in rural Ireland. Yet, despite years of empty promises in Mayo we still don’t have delivery on the N26 or the R312.
“Sinn Féin have brought forward this motion to give the government a second chance. A chance for them to show voters that they are serious about regional transport infrastructure. That they are serious about reducing carbon emissions. That they have a vision for our country beyond maintaining the status quo and blocking change.
“This motion is a direct response to government failure to deliver on very modest demands for investment in infrastructure in the regions.
“Many government TDs in the West have been very critical of the National Development Plan and the complete lack of any commitment on the Western Rail Corridor.
“They are right. Not including the project in the National Development Plan is a real missed opportunity for the government to show that it is committed to regional development in the West.
“I call on all members of the government to take this second chance and support regional infrastructure development and the opening of the Western Rail Corridor by voting in favour of this Sinn Féin motion.”