The potential European funding available for the Western Rail Corridor will be explored at an important public meeting in Athenry tonight Thursday December 12.
The meeting hosted by Sinn Féin MEP for Midlands North West Matt Carthy, is entitled: ‘The Western Rail Corridor - Can EU Funding get Athenry on track?’ and will feature contributions from the European Parliament member, along with Louis O’Hara, Cllr Gerry Murray and members of community group FLAG (Forward Looking Athenry Group ) who believe the Western Rail Corridor can bring much needed investment and tourism opportunities to the Athenry area.
Mr Carthy will give an update on the current situation with the Western Rail Corridor and will outline potential EU funding streams for the project. Speaking ahead of the meeting, he said he would encourage everyone in the Athenry area to come along and support the campaign for the Western Rail Corridor, which was included on the EU’s 10 T map, a core travel network identified as priorities by the EU institutions for connectivity between and within EU member states.
“We managed to secure overwhelming support from MEPs right across Europe in a vote for the Western Rail Corridor to be included in the core network list. Being included on this list means that governments and regional authorities are able to draw down funding and support from the EU. But during negotiations with the EU Council, which the Irish government was party to, the Western Rail Corridor was removed from the core network list.
“There has been no explanation for this, but it’s only in the last few weeks that Transport Minister Shane Ross has written to the EU Commission asking for the Western Rail Corridor to be put back on the core network projects list – just months away from a general election here.”
MEP Carthy said that there has been utter failure from successive governments to commit to the Western Rail Corridor, but the door is now open to EU funding, which will be crucial in getting this much-needed train network up and running’.
The ‘Western Rail Corridor - Can EU Funding get Athenry on track?’ meeting takes place tonight Thursday December 12 at 8pm in Athenry Town Hall.