Investment in infrastructure is good for the Western Region – O’Mahony

-   Senator John OMahony

“Ongoing Government investment in infrastructure is good for the development of the Western Region, a Fine Gael Senator has said. Speaking in a Seanad debate with Transport Minister Shane Ross this week, Mayo Senator John O’Mahony highlighted a number of projects benefitting the west and also urged that Government investment in the region should continue.

“Back in 2000, prior to having any involvement in politics, I recall hearing about the Galway city ring road being held up by the Moycullen bats. Now this project is well on the way. This week in the Seanad I questioned the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, about it and he confirmed to me that within two or three weeks, he will seek the Government’s approval for the Galway ring road project so the county council can go ahead to seek planning consent from An Bord Pleanála.  This ring road will be vital to opening Connemara up to increased numbers of tourists.

“I also asked the Minister about the Western Rail Corridor and the role it could play in the Atlantic economic corridor, which is crucial to the development of the Western region. Minister Ross confirmed that Iarnród Éireann is conducting a review which will be presented to Government for examination.

“Ireland West Airport, Knock, is going from strength to strength. I was chair of a study group there that recommended investment of €36.5 million in projects, including the overlaying of the runway and the apron, as well as its designation as a strategic development zone. The airport is as crucial to the west and north-west as Dublin airport is to the eastern region. I welcome the support that has been given on this and urge the Government that it should continue.

“The Minister confirmed to me in the Seanad that the Government is absolutely committed to Knock airport and its importance in the region is well known as a vital gateway to tourism.

“All of this investment in infrastructure is very positive for the continued development of the Western Region and I urge the Government to ensure all of these projects stay on track.”

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