Independent TD Mattie McGrath has explained his huge disappointment and shock at the lack of regional representation within the newly appointed government, expressing concern at the focus that regional and rural Ireland will receive.
In his speech at the Convention Centre on Saturday, Deputy McGrath pointed out that while much was being made of there being no Minister west of the Shannon, this trend also continues down through Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford. He also pointed out that while the programme for government speaks of regional development, it's focus is on taking pressure off of Dublin rather than improving the quality of life for those in Rural Ireland.
“There are huge challenges facing the South East in respect of Health Care, employment and Transport Services, in particular the failure to give commitments on the delivery of the 24/7 cardiac care unit in University Hospital Waterford and the fact that upgrades to the N24 are likely to be pushed further and further down the line.” Said Deputy McGrath
Deputy McGrath has written to the new Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, inviting him to Tipperary Town to see the effect that the N24 is having on air and noise pollution in the town centre and on the quality of life for residents and indeed road users on the N24 asking him to prioritise a ring road for Tipperary Town.
“These projects are necessary to attract employment to the South East and improve the quality of life in Tipperary Town and surrounding areas.
The 2008 recession showed that the South East was amongst the most impacted regions in the country with 42,000 job losses and it was the slowest region to recover. The South East needs more agency engagement from Enterprise Ireland, the IDA and Failte Ireland and I will be working with all of my colleagues across the South East to ensure that it has a voice despite the lack of cabinet representation.” Concluded McGrath