NORTH QUAYS: Minister at odds with local TDs as he says there is no agreement on €39m for railway station
There is no agreement to fund the relocation of Plunkett Station on the North Quays, Minister for Housing and Local Government Eoghan Murphy has said.
This puts Mr Muprhy directly at odds with locals TDs, some of whom last week announced that an agreement had been reached.
Speaking to RTE News, the minster said “no new agreement or new announcement” and while the Government is “committed” to the North Quays project, it must ensure that “the funding lines are in place” before it can take any further steps.
Local TDs released statements welcoming the allocation of €39m for the plan after they met with Minster Murphy last week.
Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane said he had been told by Mr Murphy that his department will fund the money for the project.
“It’s great news; it’s great news for Waterford. Obviously we’ve been pushing for this collectively for some time,” he said at the time.
Indpedendent TD and Minister of State John Halligan said: “Negotiations are taking place at present with the Department of Transport and Paschal O’Donohue’s department but it has now been confirmed that the money will be made available to move the train station, which is a big, big plus and a big move for the further development of the North Quays.”
Local Fianna Fáil TD Mary Butler also tweeted about “positive news”.
However, when questioned about the situation, the minster said that the North Quays project is “a critical one for the country” and “a big part of our vision” under Project Ireland 2040.
“The Government’s always been committed to the project,” he said.
“Recently I met with representatives from the constituency to talk through the various elements of it and how we’re going to deliver them.”
“What I was doing with the TDs was updating them on the latest developments in terms of what the Government is trying to align in terms of securing funding from the relevant departments for this very important project.
“We want to see this project go ahead, we have to make sure, though, that before we make announcements, before we actually sign agreements that the funding lines are in place and that’s what we’re working to secure at the moment.”
Asked if there is funding for the Waterford project, he said: “What we have at the moment in Government, because it’s a project that requires a number of different departments to be involved, is we have a piece of work happening to align that funding to make sure that the funding will be in place and the project can go ahead, and that’s what I was discussing with the TDs”.