A Galway TD has accused the new Minister for Rural and Community Affairs, Michael Ring, of "refusing to allocate money" under the CLÁR programme for the repair of small rural access roads leading to "hundreds of homes across Galway and Mayo".
In Dáil Éireann, Fianna Fáil TD for Galway West Éamon Ó Cuív, asked Minister Ring if money would be forthcoming for upgrades on, what are officially termed, 'non-county access roads' in Galway and Mayo. In reply, Minister Ring said there were “no plans, at the moment, to introduce a funding scheme for the repair of local access in CLÁR”.
Dep Ó Cuív said this was “very disappointing" as there were "hundreds of homes across Galway and Mayo" which are accessed from non-county public roads. He said "many of these are in need of urgent upgrade or repair works" so that residents can "get in and out of their homes safely”.
The Cornamona based TD also accused Minister Ring and the Minister for Transport Shane Ross of "continuing to shirk responsibility for this issue", by each claiming this issue falls under the remit of the other.
"There have been no local improvement schemes rolled out in Galway since Fine Gael came into government in 2011," said Dep Ó Cuív. "Unless these ministers wake up to the seriousness of the situation people in Galway and Mayo will be unable to access their homes. It is frustrating that the current ministers fail to see the importance of this funding. It is yet another example of this Government’s total neglect of rural Ireland and its high-handed attitude towards the day-to-day difficulties of people living there."