Seán Canney TD has reiterated the importance of the Western Rail Corridor for the future development of the West of Ireland.
‘Phase 1 of the Western Rail Corridor has exceeded the projected level of use with 279,000 passengers using the Galway to Limerick line in 2015 as confirmed by Irish Rail. Phase 1 serves the towns between Galway and Limerick including Athenry, Craughwell, Ardrahan, Gort and Ennis.
‘There has been consistent misinformation about the performance of this line and I am dismayed to hear that elected public representatives from the Tuam Area are calling for the closure of this line. This is not helpful in the quest to increase investment in the West of Ireland
‘I have always advocated for the extension of the Western Rail Corridor north from Athenry to Tuam and Claremorris. This development would provide rail connectivity from Galway to Westport and Ballina, Galway to Limerick as well as the existing Galway to Dublin line. The opening of the Western Rail Corridor would provide direct rail freight access along the West to Foynes Port in Limerick and Waterford Port.
‘The Programme for Partnership Government recognises the importance of the railway to the future development of the West of Ireland as a counterbalance to overdevelopment in the greater Dublin region.
‘The Atlantic Economic Corridor is the platform to create balanced development and the Chambers of Commerce of Limerick, Shannon, Ennis, Galway, Roscommon, Mayo, Sligo and the American Chamber of Commerce support this drive for balanced development.
‘All political parties believe in the concept of the Atlantic Economic Corridor and they need to put this into operation in their utterances and they need to give clarity instead of playing politics.
‘The Western Rail Corridor is a vital component in the realisation of this vision. The re-opening of the Western Rail Corridor Phase 2 & 3 will revitalise towns in Galway such as Tuam, Milltown, Athenry, Ardrahan, Gort and Craughwell.
‘The fact that the NTA spent €270 million in projects between January 2015 and March 2017 in Dublin and spent €25,000 in the rest of the country demonstrates clearly the imbalance that continues to exist.
‘We need to unite and aspire to bigger investment for Tuam, Athenry, Loughrea and Gort. We should not be afraid to flight for more. We have got to stop putting ourselves down. Finally, we need to work together in the West to ensure we get infrastructure lead development for the entire region.
‘Since being first elected to Galway County Council I have always been passionate in my belief that Galway East is a great location to live, work and raise our families. I intend to continue to push for investment to allow Galway East to provide jobs for our children and grandchildren,’