Tánaiste backs shared island unit as T.D. compares neglect of Derry to Waterford

The Tánaiste has said the shared Island initiative is being received positively in Derry after a T.D. compared under-resourcing of university provision in the city to the experience of Waterford.
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Independent Waterford T.D. Matt Shanahan said he believed the two cities at opposite ends of the country have been similarly neglected over the years.

“When I look at Derry, I see many similarities with my own city of Waterford. That city has suffered from a lack of per capita resourcing for its university and hospital, which is similar to Waterford.

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“It aligns with the experience of Waterford, which has suffered because of political strategies, the interests of Dublin and the temporary government in Cork, which has denied resourcing to Waterford, the south east and the wider region.

Micheál MartinMicheál Martin
Micheál Martin

“Why should Derry should consider that its place would be any better in a shared island initiative as it looks at the Government's continuing failure to provide per capita resourcing to Waterford and the south east?” asked Deputy Shanahan.

Deputy Micheál Martin said the shared island initiative which aims to ‘harness the full potential of the Good Friday Agreement to enhance cooperation, connection and mutual understanding on the island’ is being well-received.

“I have been to Derry in the context of the shared island initiative over the last two and a half years. People there are pleased with the shared island initiative.

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“The NW Strategic Growth Partnership is particularly pleased. It involves all of the councils in the north west working together in harmony by leaving politics and party politics outside the door to advance the cause of the region,” he said.

The Tánaiste said he was hopeful of progress on a range of key road, rail and third level projects.

“The A5 is in a public inquiry process. The most submissions on the all-island rail strategy came from the north west because connectivity is a significant issue for the north west.

"We said to the university, particularly the Magee campus, that we are awaiting proposals on the shared island initiative. It has submitted proposals and we have supported projects in the north west, particularly relating to research.

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“Over €40 million has been allocated to research proposals on the island of Ireland through the shared island initiative. We stand ready to do more,” he told the Dáil.