19 September 2008

Gormley wants more Public Transport

John Gormley (right), leader of Ireland's Green Party and Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, says that he will be "pressing for some road projects to be given a lower priority in the National Development Plan (NDP)".

Speaking as his party met on the second day of their pre-Dáil session in Tralee, Co. Kerry, he stated that "public transport remains the priority for Green ministers".

He conceded that contracts had been signed for some major motorways, but there were other roads planned that should be looked at again as they were of lower priority compared with public transport.

Waste water treatment and environmental protection remained also a key priority for the Greens in government, he added.

He warned that "tough budgetary decisions" lay ahead and that his party was still in discussions with Finance Minister Brian Lenihan (FF).

Regarding the 'Shell to Sea' campaign, Gormley said the departure of the pipe-laying vessel Solitaire made it "an opportune time" for his colleague Eamon Ryan (left), Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, to talk to the local community in Mayo.

This is some good news at last from the government, and the first time for months that one has heard a minister being not completely hostile towards the beleaguered residents of northern Co. Mayo. Perhaps the ten-day hunger strike of veteran campaigner Maura Harrington, which ended this afternoon, has achieved more than the withdrawal of the Solitaire from Irish waters.

The Emerald Islander

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