‘Rail will play a very important part in underpinning economic development in the west’ – Taoiseach

73

Western Rail Corridor would contribute to rebalancing economic development on Western Seaboard

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin told the Dáil during Leaders Questions on Tuesday that he believes that “rail will play a very important part in underpinning economic development in the west”. Responding to a question from Galway East Deputy Seán Canney about the necessity for developing the Atlantic Economic Corridor, the Taoiseach said that offshore wind and infrastructure developments such as the Western Rail Corridor would contribute to rebalancing economic development on the western seaboard.

“In my view, rail will play a very important part in underpinning economic development in the west in the future. We are marketing the west, Galway and Mayo in particular, very strongly in respect of industrial development right down to Clare. The combination of energy, industry and infrastructure means we are within reach of achieving the transformational shift required in rebalancing the economy of the island,” he said.

Deputy Canney had asked the Taoiseach to outline the Government’s plan to deliver the infrastructure necessary to develop the Atlantic economic corridor as a counterbalance to the over-development on the east coast and what the Government planned to do in the short term.

A spokesman for West on Track welcomed the Taoiseach’s reiteration of his support for the Western Rail Corridor but said he hoped to see it translated into concrete actions without much further delay. “When the All-Island Rail Review is published in autumn we would like to see the Taoiseach and Minister Eamonn Ryan moving swiftly to give the green light for what is a shovel-ready and environmentally sustainable development for the west of Ireland that can be delivered in three to four years at a cost of €154m,” he said.