Political row over crucial Limerick projects

Senator Kieran O'Donnell

FINE Gael Senator Kieran O’Donnell has questioned if Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea wanted to delay vital projects like the M20 Limerick to Cork motorway and the new block in University Hospital Limerick (UHL).

Senator O’Donnell insisted that the Government is committed to the delivery of the National Development Plan (NDP) as part of the Project Ireland 2040 plan, which contains crucial projects for Limerick.

“The people of Limerick have been waiting long enough for this progress and yet now we hear that Fianna Fáil are raising delaying projects. We need to ask Willie O’Dea does Fianna Fáil want to delay projects like the M20 and the new block in UHL?” he asked.

“Just last week, the Fianna Fáil party agreed to support a Social Democrats/Green Party motion to identify which regional development projects will be delayed or worse, cancelled.

Willie O'Dea TD, Fianna Fáil. Picture: Keith Wiseman Clonmacken
Willie O’Dea TD, Fianna Fáil.
Picture: Keith Wiseman

“Now in the wake of the launch of the Government’s Climate Action Plan, senior Fianna Fáil figures are out calling again for crucial roads projects to be delayed. They are calling for the projects in the NDP to be revisited but in reality they just want to scrap Fine Gael’s Project Ireland 2040 for political reasons.”

He went on to point out that public transport is a key component of Fine Gael’s plans.

“Bus connects, cycleways, greenways all feature heavily in the NDP as well as the Climate Action Plan and these projects will proceed under the current Government.

“The Fianna Fáil position shows the clear danger presented to Limerick if there is a government change after the next election. Fine Gael is the party with the vision, the plan and the right team to implement it. The opposition just want to block progress for the sake of a political win,” he claimed.

However, Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea told the Limerick Post that he doesn’t want to delay anything, particularly the long overdue M20 or the new block in University Hospital Limerick.

“Let’s not forget that the M20 to Cork was part of our Development Plan when we were in Government and this project was abandoned by Leo Varadkar when he was Minister for Transport. What I want to know from Senator O’Donnell and his Fine Gael colleagues is will the M20 to Cork or the new block proposed for UHL be affected by their gross mismanagement of the National Children’s Hospital project?” Deputy O’Dea asked.

“I’m delighted that Senator O’Donnell has rediscovered his interest in University Hospital Limerick. He was talking about the hospital constantly when in opposition, but now that it has the worst performing Emergency Department in the country, he appears to have taken a vow of silence.”