Key local transport projects ‘ignored’ by new coalition – TD turns the heat up on Wicklow’s Ministers
Key Wicklow transport projects were ignored in the new Programme for Government, a local TD has claimed.
Deputy John Brady criticised the new Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil-Green Party coalition for failing to mention the M81 and N11/M11 upgrades and works required on the Rosslare to Dublin rail line in their new policy document.
He called on Wicklow’s two senior Cabinet ministers – Stephen Donnelly (health) and Simon Harris (higher education) – to “give priority to these [projects] as well as inward investment and jobs for the county”.
Deputy Brady, who topped the poll locally, said the new coalition does not represent the type of change people voted for in Wicklow and across the country at the last election.
“People voted for change in the general election, they voted for a fresh start and for a new beginning. They voted for a move away from the two parties that have shared power in this State for nearly 100 years,” the Wicklow TD said.
“Faced with the prospect of a Government of Change, the two old parties have come together to circle the wagons to exclude Sinn Féin, and they are using the Green Party as a fig leaf to do this.
“The reality is that the desire for change is even stronger now than it was in February. People know what it’s like to have Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael in power together.
“At a time when Ireland needs ambition and big ideas, we have a Programme for Government that fails to deliver on affordable housing, on building up capacity in our health services, on getting people back to work and having enough to survive, on childcare, on the right to retire at sixty-five and on planning for Irish unity.
Speaking on the appointment of his constituency rivals to senior Cabinet positions, Deputy Brady (pictured below) said: “I wish both Ministers Harris and Donnelly well in their new positions, it’s a proud day for them and indeed their families. However, I have absolutely no faith in Minister Donnelly’s ability to deal with the crisis in our health service. Replacing a Fine Gael TD with a Fianna Fáil TD will not bring about the change we need as their policies are identical.
“We must remember the reason for the recent General Election was because a motion of no confidence was to be tabled in Minister Harris. In February 2019 Deputy Donnelly and Fianna Fáil abstained in a previous Motion of no confidence in Minister Harris and his handling of the Health Service, so he clearly has no issues with the condition of our health service.
“I do however hope that having three Government TD’s including two senior Ministers in Wicklow will ensure that the many issues in Wicklow will be progressed.
“I will also be immediately putting pressure on them to provide the necessary funding to progress a Sports Campus in Bray and a Swimming Pool in West Wicklow. Minister Donnelly must also immediately provide the funds that are needed to ensure that St Joseph’s Dementia Care Home can continue to do the fantastic work they do.”