Seanad debate on transport links to north west

A key debate in the Seanad with Minister for Transport Shane Ross on air and road links to Donegal is to take place today.

The debate will focus on the funding of the A5 and City of Derry Airport.
Today’s debate was secured by Donegal Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, who said the people of Donegal have endured neglect and injustice. He said he is delighted to have the opportunity to debate the issue.
In September Ryanair announced its decision to stop flights between Derry and London Stansted from next March, sparking fears about the future of the airport.
"Just a look at the map of rail links, motorways and air links in Ireland will reveal to anyone the scale of the neglect and transport injustice that the people of Donegal and the North West have endured,” Senator Mac Lochlainn said.
“I will be insisting that our people demand equality of access. We demand fairness. Since 2011, the Irish Government have not contributed one cent to the City of Derry Airport even though 40% of the passengers are from Donegal. That's 150,000 passengers every year. This has to change. I will also demand that the hugely reduced financial commitment by the Irish Government to the crucial A5 dual carriageway from Donegal and Derry to Dublin is urgently revised. This commitment arising from the St Andrews Agreement was originally £400 sterling. It is now €75 million euro.
“I have repeatedly called for the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross to come in to the Seanad and debate the need for the Irish Government to step up to the plate and address this injustice in a way that demonstrates urgency. I am delighted to have this opportunity this Wednesday. Both Minister Ross and his Government colleagues will not be allowed to walk away from their responsibilities".

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