Buttimer calls on O’Keeffe to come clean on which Cork projects will get the go ahead
Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer has today (Thursday) called on Minister Batt O’Keeffe to come clean on which infrastructure projects in Cork, which were not mentioned in the Government’s capital spending plan launched last Monday but which the Minister said funding will be made available for, are to get the green light.
“Since the announcement, earlier in the week, of the Government’s new spending plan, which is essentially phase one of next December’s Budget, we have seen one Minister after another lining up to defend projects in their departments or their constituencies.
“First off we had Minister Ahern pledging unallocated funds for the development of Thornton Hall, then we had Minister Dempsey promising work on the Navan rail link and the Western Rail Corridor. Minister Gormley came next with a commitment to cover the running costs of the water and sewerage plants just days after the Government announced a €750 million cut in the water investment programme and today Minister Carey secured the future of Udaras na Gaeltachta. The list goes on.
“Now we have Minister O’Keeffe, the latest in a long line of Ministers demonstrating that the revised capital spending plan is not worth the paper it’s written on, telling the people of Cork that just because Cork projects didn’t feature in Monday’s announcement, doesn’t mean the won’t be delivered.
“What planet is the Minister living on? He clearly thinks the people of Cork came down with the last shower.
“The upgrading of the N25 Cork southern ring and the N28 Cork-Ringaskiddy road are vital to the future of Cork. So too is the progression of the docklands project, on which Government foot-dragging has been spectacular. With planning permission already granted and developers waiting to get going, the only thing holding up the development of the docklands is the funding. We are now expected to believe that money will miraculously appear to progress these projects despite the fact that they did not feature in last Monday’s announcement.
“I am calling on the Minister to set out precisely which Cork projects funding will be made available for and whether or not the capital infrastructural plan is, in fact, worth the paper it’s written on.”