July 11, 2023
Political will is required to address challenges faced by Northwest – MacManus

Political will is required to address challenges faced by Northwest – MacManus

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has said that political will is required to address the challenges that Sligo and the northwest region faces. The Midlands Northwest representative was speaking after meeting with representatives from Sligo Chamber of Commerce to discuss issues related to regional imbalance.

MEP MacManus said:
“I was pleased to meet with representatives from Sligo Chamber recently at their offices on Quay Street. We had a very productive discussion focused on addressing issues related to regional imbalance, which are hugely concerning for the local business, industrial and economic community.”

“It is quite clear that our region is suffering due to the slow pace of delivering infrastructural projects; the N17 upgrade, a Western Rail Corridor north of Collooney and the Strategic Development Zone at Ireland West Airport are a few examples of major projects which are being long-fingered by the Government.”

“As well as that we are failing to fully take advantage of European funding opportunities such as the Connecting Europe Facility, which is available to projects on the TEN-T Network.”

“The statistics from the EU are stark; our region has been downgraded to being in transition, lagging and caught in a development trap. We now rank 218th out of the 234 EU regions in terms of infrastructural development.”

“This severely limits our region’s potential to attract investment, support existing businesses and deliver high-quality jobs to make our region an attractive place to live and work.”

“It is clear that there is a lack of political will to address these challenges, with the Taoiseach recently in the Dáil dismissing the challenges the northwest faces. We need a change of attitude from our Government and a policy of positive discrimination to be adopted in order to ensure that Sligo and the entire northwest region can thrive.”

“I was impressed with the knowledge and determination of Sligo Chamber on this issue and I will continue to work with them and others to tackle regional imbalance in the time ahead.” ENDS
See attached photograph from the Sligo Chamber of Commerce offices of (L-R): David Kiely (Chamber Board), Chris MacManus MEP, Conor McCarthy (President), Aidan Doyle (CEO), Eamonn McGauran (Industrial Committee)

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