A call to re-open the Western Rail Corridor, in a submission from the Galway County Council executive to Iarnród Éireann, has been described as a “slap in the face” to elected members.
This is the view of the Minister for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciaran Cannon, who criticised the council’s submission to the rail review which is looking at a possible extension of the Western Rail Corridor from Athenry to Tuam to Claremorris.
Minister Cannon has alleged that the council executive, which consists of the council chief executive and the various directors of services, made the submission “without any consultation” with the 39 county councillors.
According to the Galway East TD, councillors only received an email on Tuesday morning with a copy of the submission attached, informing them that a submission was made on their behalf. He also noted that the submission was dated July 17, the same day the online survey was due to close. “People could be excused for viewing it as a deliberate attempt to avoid consultation with our newly elected councillors,” he claimed.
“It would be an understatement to say I am shocked,” said Minister Cannon. “To arrive at a particular viewpoint without consulting the elected members of the local authority is an affront to the democratic process and a slap in the face to those whom we have chosen to represent our views on matters such as this.”