Video: Taoiseach blamed for excluding Derry and Donegal from â‚¬750 billion EU transport network
Derry's exclusion from share of the largest part of a â‚¬750 billion EU transport network funding pot has been laid at the door of the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
Fianna Fáil T.D. Lisa Chambers has slammed Mr. Varadkar for removing the North West from the core Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) when transport minister in 2011.
This has meant major projects in Derry and Donegal are ineligible for funding via the “most important part” of the TEN-T programme, the core network, which will be allocated 80 per cent of the â‚¬750 billion up to 2030.
The North West is still eligible to apply for share of five per cent of the funding pot under TEN-T’s comprehensive network component but that’s not good enough, according to the Mayo T.D.
“The key issue is that to qualify as a core network and receive core funding, an area had to have both a road and rail link,” she said.
“Information I have received shows that in 2011 the Taoiseach, Deputy Varadkar, who was then Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, purposely removed key transport projects in the North West from Ireland’s application to the EU’s Ten-T funding programme and effectively wiped the North West off the core map.”
Deputy Chambers said the non-inclusion of the Western Rail Corridor, which stretches from Sligo to Limerick, has denied the North West it’s share of the funding.
“The Western Rail Corridor was removed from the core network map by the then Minister, now Taoiseach, Deputy Leo Varadkar.
"That relegated the western arc, the road running from Cork to Derry, to the comprehensive funding box because without the rail link, the road network could not qualify for core funding,” she said.