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Minister Ross Meets Delegation

As Mayor of the Clonmel/Cahir Municipal District, Cllr Andy Moloney met with Minister Shane Ross along with other Chairmen of the district and deputies to discuss roads funding in the county.

Minister Ross stated that their had been a misunderstanding to members of the council that he would not meet a delegation but merely that he didn't want to start meeting delegations until the Autumn. However since there was public outcry by the members, he agreed to come to Tipperary on a special visit.

While all districts pledged their case to the Minister, Moloney highlighted the reduction of grants from €13m down to €8m in regional and local roads since 2007 was not good enough. Mayor, Cllr Moloney also pointed out that the loss of Borough Councils in the county also meant the loss of the roads funding that went with it. Phil Hogan had reduced the council members from 113 to 40 and this saving needed to be replaced also.

Others issues raised by the Mayor were the fact that the lack of progress on the N24 has led to congestion on the inner relief road in Clonmel and filter lanes needed to be provided ASAP if the minister was not going to move.

The contentious Ardfinnan Bridge was discussed and the Minister went to visit the village to see for himself first hand.

When asked about the meeting, Cllr Moloney said that in Ministers Ross own words, he said he was sympathetic to the case and understands fully our situation. We have a good case for funding on the bridge and that the council have their end of things ready. He said that the meeting was worthwhile and very productive and he understood that Ardfinnan Bridge was urgent. While Cllr Moloney thought that the N24 was high on the agenda he felt that there would be nothing happening until at least 2019, he felt that the bridge was in with an outside chance but the minister would consider budgets over the coming weeks. He pointed out that a grain farmer had to move the bollards recently to get his machinery over the bridge . All other projects he felt would have to wait.

Moloney said that our roads maintenance allocation was used up on repairs from the flooding and we needed this money replaced for essential annual repairs and called on the minister to release funds.

He thanked the Minister for coming to Tipperary and answering the independent call to visit the area but wanted action as a matter of urgency.