Commitments given by Taoiseach over Cork road projects, says O’Connor

Fianna Fáil TD James O'Connor threatened to resign the party whip after he felt he was misled when projects in his constituency were omitted from the National Development Plan.
Commitments given by Taoiseach over Cork road projects, says O’Connor

Vivienne Clarke

Cork East Fianna Fáil TD James O’Connor has said he has received commitments from the Taoiseach, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Minister for Transport that major road projects in his constituency will go ahead despite not being individually referenced in the National Development Plan (NDP).

Earlier this week, Mr O’Connor said he felt he had been misled and led to believe the projects would be included in the NDP and threatened to resign the party whip on local radio station C103.

Mr O’Connor met with Micheál Martin, Michael McGrath and Eamon Ryan on Thursday to discuss his “significant concerns” about the NDP, specifically, the road projects in his own constituency.

The issue of bypasses for Castlemartyr and Killeigh urgently needed to be addressed, he said, and he received commitments that the Government would give their “full support” for the projects.

The situation had changed since Sunday night when he was first informed the road projects would not be included in the NDP, he added.

“The process will be initiated, it will take a number of years. The good news is that this project will be initiated,” Mr O'Connor said.

The project was “extremely important” to the people of East Cork, he added.

When asked if he had been serious about his threat to resign the party whip on the issue, Mr O’Connor said he would not make such a statement unless he was serious.

“This is the issue that I fought my general election campaign on,” adding that he had a mandate from the people he represented “to get this issue resolved”.

Mr O’Connor said he wanted to work “in good faith” with his colleagues and this had been “an extremely serious situation”.

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