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Cork TD threatens to quit Fianna Fáil claiming he was 'lied to' over NDP road plans

James O’Connor has told local radio that “if commitments made to me are not fulfilled” he will consider leaving the party.

Fianna Fáil TD James O'Connor.
Fianna Fáil TD James O'Connor.
Image: Twitter

Updated Oct 6th 2021, 3:21 PM

A CORK FIANNA Fáil TD has threatened to leave the party saying he was “misled” by government officials over allocations in the National Development Plan (NDP). 

Cork East deputy James O’Connor has told local radio that “if commitments made to me are not fulfilled” he will consider leaving the party. 

O’Connor says he was told in “good faith” that €54 million for a relief road at Castlemartyr and Killeagh would be provided for in the NDP but this did not materialise. 

Speaking to Patricia Messinger on C103′s Cork Today Show, O’Connor says he feels he was “lied to” by “a multitude of colleagues” but that it “would be unfair to lay the blame at anyone’s feet”. 

There has been anger in east Cork since the announcement of the NDP on Monday, with particular focus on the absence of plans for the Killeagh/Castlemartyr N25 bypass road and an upgrade of the R624 Fota road. 

O’Connor said funding for the two roads was “one of the most important issues in this constituency” and that was seeking a meeting with Taoiseach Micheál Martin over the issue. 

Martin has said that if other projects are delayed then the money could be invested into other projects and he mentioned the Castlemartyr bypass.

“I would like to say that I will continue to fight for this project to be included in the National Development Plan, and I will not relent until I get a commitment from governments that this project will be supported,” O’Connor told the programme. 

I have asked for a meeting with An Taoiseach Micheál Martin and the Minister of Transport. I have yet to receive an official reply responding to that request and if I do not receive any information on that in the next number of days I will be looking at a number of options, including resigning the whip of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party.
O’Connor has since tweeted this afternoon that he will meet with Martin and Transport Minister Eamon Ryan tomorrow to “seek assurances” over the road projects.

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In a Facebook post yesterday, independent councillor from Youghal Mary Linehan Foley said she was “beyond disappointed and upset” that there were no road commitments for the area.

“It is incredibly disappointing that East Cork appears to be left behind once again. I am hurt that the government does not appear to be giving East Cork the projects which are so vital to its development and sustainability,” the councillor said.

Speaking today, O’Connor said he has been “fighting the good fight” and that he was “hurt” by the actions of some local councillors who have used the NDP announcement “as a stick to beat me”. 

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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