We the Irish State has spent €40m planning and designing an underground railway line that may never be built, recent figures reveal. Iarnród Éireann admit spending millions of euros on the second Dublin DART underground project, proposed to run from Docklands to Inchicore, even though 7.5 km of the 7.6 km line does not yet have planning permission. New figures show that €20million will have been spent this year alone planning this line.
One other high-profile rail project for our glorious capital, expected to cost €3 billion, the much hailed Metro North has already incurred costs of €135 million.
If both projects are shelved, because of huge cuts in public spending, it follows that hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ euro’s will have been flushed into the river Liffey. Read the Department of Transport Website here
Meanwhile, back in rural forgotten Tipperary, the much patched road to Two Mile Borris has begun to unravel again and when our present weather conditions subside sufficiently, we can look forward to enjoying a surface similar to a gravelled driveway.
In another scenario, a meeting of County Councillors from Clare and North Tipperary were told by Clare County Council Officials recently that they have earmarked €18,000 for repairs to half the bridge at Killaloe. But there are no plans to carry out similar repairs on the Tipperary half of the bridge, due to lack of funds.
The ten year wait for a ring road for Thurles obviously was not part of the “Lowry Secret Support Deal” for government either and we dare to ask the question here in North Tipp, was there ever any deal in the first place, as certainly we here presently resident in ‘no mans land‘ have not seen any benefits, financially or otherwise, over the past two years.
Now with North Tipperary Fianna Fáil TD Máire Hoctor revealing this week that she was very disillusioned by the performance of Taoiseach Brian Cowen and would be prepared to vote for her fellow Tipperary native, Mary Hanafin to take over as leader of the party, we can expect no ‘manna from heaven‘, or even a bit of tarmac, for that matter, from this quarter either. She, herself, admits that Brian Cowan even forgot she existed, failing to inform her of the visit by the Minister for Trade Enterprise and Innovation Batt O’Keeffe, to Thurles last July, to open a €3.5m business park in the town, thus afforded Mr Lowry the opportunity to pretend he delivered that project for North Tipperary on his own.
Thurles Chamber of Commerce seem to have emigrated and Thurles Urban District Councillors have not been heard from, since August, when dog poo, boy racers and attempts to meet with the IMF were high on their agenda. As for North Tipp County Council, well who knows where they have gone to ground, hopefully not into one of our numerous potholes.
Meanwhile, expect to spend an extra hour queuing in traffic as you attempt to enter Thurles this Christmas period, to collect your children from local schools.
My conclusion is that all our expensive leadership in North Tipperary has hibernated for the Winter and hopefully someone will waken them up prior to the January 2011 General Election.
In the meanwhile, do take care of those vehicle tyres, as you attempt to manoeuvre around the numerous potholes on our rural roads.