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Ryan says he wants better public transport for the region, including rail links.

'My beef is the road not going ahead': A Limerick road is causing division lines between Fianna Fáil and the Greens

Minister Eamon Ryan has been accused of acting “in clear breach” of the Programme for Government.

TRANSPORT MINISTER EAMON Ryan’s refusal to sign off a road construction project in Limerick has caused “consternation locally”, according to Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea.

The €45 million road, which will link Coonagh and Knockalisheen, is seen as a major part of the regeneration of Moyross.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, O’Dea said €17 million has already been spent on the project, stating that the Green Party leader’s decision to review the project is a “clear breach of the Programme for Government”.

The issue dominated this week’s Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting, where members passed a motion calling on the minister to sign off on the road to Limerick City which was originally approved in 2007.

“My beef is with this road not going ahead,” O’Dea said this morning. “It is integral in the region and opening up Limerick City,” he said. 

The Limerick TD said the road is “absolutely critical” to bringing investment into the region, adding that it is committed to in the Programme for Government.

In response, Ryan said he wanted to “make sure we get it right”.

He said there are no public transport links in the area, and he is looking at introducing rail links in the region. 

The government will proceed with a “section” of the road, he said, adding that the money spent already on the project won’t be wasted.

O’Dea said he had no objection to rail links being added to the programme of development, but said he “rejects any notion of part of a road” being built. 

This would “result in a rat run through a residential area” in Moyross, he said.

“It would be totally undesirable,” said O’Dea, saying no one is interested in part of the road being constructed. 

Pressure is now mounting on the transport minister to give the road the green light, with the Fianna Fáil Minister of State for Higher Education Niall Collins piling in and raising the matter with the Taoiseach, stating that it is an integral part of the infrastructure of Limerick. 

While responsibility for the regeneration project largely lies with Limerick County Council, it is understood that Housing Minister Daragh O’Brien, and Junior Minister Peter Burke, who as a delegated function responsible for local government, were not made aware that Ryan was minded not to sign off on the road.

Ryan said Moyross would not become a “rat run”, saying “certainly not under my watch”. 

The minister said he looking at the overall plan for the regeneration of Limerick, and wants the area to have the “most modern and advanced transport system” which will bring investment and jobs.

O’Dea said there are Green Party initiatives in the Programme for Government that he does not like, but is expected to support, as the document is a compromise. 

He said if his Green Party colleagues expect him to support their proposals, then Fianna Fáil expects the proposals put in at the behest of them to be supported. 

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