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Fianna Fáil TD 'happy' with Taoiseach's commitments over Cork roads and won't be quitting the party

James O’Connor says he was “serious” about his threat to quit Fianna Fáil.

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

FIANNA FÁIL TD James O’Connor has said he is “happy with the commitments” he has received from the Taoiseach over two road developments in Cork East and he will not be leaving the party. 

O’Connor had told local radio on Wednesday that he felt “misled” and was “lied to” by officials after funding for the Killeagh/Castlemartyr N25 bypass road and an upgrade of the R624 Fota road were not included in this week’s National Development Road. 

The TD, who was first elected last year and is the youngest deputy in the Dáil, had said that he was seeking a meeting with Taoiseach Micheál Martin over the matter and would consider resigning the party if he was not reassured about funding for the projects. 

Speaking today on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme, O’Connor said “guarantees” were made about the road projects. 

“I felt confident in coming out of yesterday’s meeting that the government is going to give its full support to this project,” he said. 

O’Connor said that he “got confirmation that this project would be initiated” but said it was “impossible” to say exactly when it would be completed. 

Speaking in Slovenia on Wednesday after O’Connor had threatened to quit the party, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that the NDP was “not an exhaustive list of projects” and that other road projects such as those in each Cork could be funded through county councils. 

O’Connor said that he was “serious” about his threat to quit Fianna Fáil and that he had “an electoral mandate” to pursue the issue as there are “24,000 vehicles a day going up and down the small village” of Castlemartyr. 

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“As a result of yesterday’s meeting, I am now happy that I’ve received the commitments that we need in order to pursue a pathway forward,” he said. 

O’Connor also denied that his threat to quit the party was a result of a relative lack of experience in the Dáil. 

“I work in good faith with other colleagues in the Oireachtas, politics is a rough and tumble business, I’m  very, very aware of that, and I have worked in it now for some time,” he said. 

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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