Fianna Fáil Deputy Leader and TD for Mayo Dara Calleary says the government must instigate a full review of the TEN-T programme to ensure that our infrastructure deficiencies can be addressed.

The party is using its Private Members Time in the Dáil this week to raise the issue.

Deputy Calleary commented, “Fine Gael has completely neglected investment in the west of Ireland over the past seven years – there are huge gaps in our transport links, regional and local roads are in various states of disrepair; and Ireland West Airport has all but been forgotten.

“The Trans-European Transport Network is a significant funding programme led by the European Union designed to increase regional connectivity and to create a more sustainable transport network.

“Key projects in the west of Ireland, such as the western rail corridor and the upgrading of Galway and Sligo airports, were removed from Ireland’s submission under the 2014-2020 round of TEN-T funding by then Transport Minister Leo Varadkar.  This has left us with just two core priorities – the Cork-Dublin-Belfast rail line and investment in Cork and Dublin ports.  Any meaningful investment in the west has been erased completely.

“The government’s National Development Plan has proved nothing more than a vanity project – it was launched to much fanfare, but we have seen very little detail over the intervening months.  Project 2040 promised €116bn investment, of which €42bn and numerous projects had already been announced back in 2015.

“The next review of TEN-T is due in 2023, but the EU has indicated that in light of the impact on Brexit on member states, and particularly Ireland, there may be an opportunity to bring forward that timeline.

“The government must commit to a review of potential projects, which could be included in TEN-T, over the next few months, and I am urging Ministers to focus on infrastructure initiatives for the west, which has been so badly left behind”.