Fianna Fáil Senator Robbie Gallagher has described the National Development Plan as a series of repackaged and rehashed announcements. More than 150 of the projects have already been announced since 2015, with €42bn out of the €116bn investment plan already earmarked for initiatives.
Senator Gallagher explained, “Big ticket items such as the National Children’s Hospital and Metro North have been in the pipeline for years, while here in Co. Monaghan projects like the N2/A5 have been on the table for well over a decade. Fine Gael has been in government for almost 7 years and despite a series of high profile announcements, it has failed to deliver on key infrastructure projects.
“There is speculation that a new primary care centre as well as a new mental health unit will be built on the grounds of St. Davnet’s hospital, but this government’s track record on delivery will not inspire confidence that these facilities will come on stream any time soon.
“I was also disappointed that there was no reference to any upgrade of the East-West link route between Cavan, Monaghan and Louth. The main roads between Monaghan and Cavan and Castleblayney and Dundalk are in dire need of upgrading. Thousands of people travel these roads daily and they are a vital link to health, education and social services, but the government has not seen fit to include either of these upgrades in the current plan. Does this mean that we have to wait over 20 years before we see any substantial works carried out?
“The government’s current record on broadband, housing and health is extremely poor. Ministers must work harder to ensure that key projects are rolled out. The real test for Project Ireland 2040 will be in delivery not publicity”.