I welcome the decision by the European Parliament to include The Western Rail Corridor and Galway Port in the TEN-T Network following an application by the Irish Government last month.
This is a game changer for both projects and confirms a commitment by the EU to support the projects by providing 20% of the capital costs of the project.
For the Western Rail Corridor, the inclusion of the project is a long time coming following a tough campaign and demonstrates the support of the EU to the project.
The Western Rail Corridor is now acknowledged as a viable project and has been identified as such in the All-Island Rail Review which was approved by both Governments in the North and South at the ministerial meeting 2 weeks ago and the review will be published in the coming weeks.
It is clear the re-opening of the railway line north from Athenry through Tuam and onto Claremorris will be a game changer for economic development in the west of Ireland.
It is a key infrastructure to drive in regional development and connectivity between Ballina Castlebar, Claremorris, Tuam, Athenry, to Galway Port Limerick, Foynes Port, Cork, and Waterford Port.
I will continue to work with West on Track and The Inter County Rail Committee to ensure that this project which now has enormous political support will be delivered as a project of regional importance for the west of Ireland”.