A Taoiseach on track with
Editorial - 9th March 2005
It's not very often that we have had occasion to publicly
commend Taoiseach Bertie Ahern for his foresight into the
provision of demanding infrastructural needs of the West of
Ireland. But this week we salute Mr. Ahem for his
commitment, in the Dáil, towards the re-opening of
the Western Rail Corridor.
Mr. Ahern, went on record, when questioned by party
leaders, Enda Kenny and Pat Rabbitte, and stated that
funding for the project "is already with the
In essence this means that the rail corridor train Sligo
to Limerick will in time be brought back into use.
This is a tremendous commitment by An Taoiseach and one
which is warmly welcomed by every man, woman and child in
the West of Ireland.
This cannot be seen as a political stroke. No. It is a
vote of confidence in the future development of the West and
is in keeping with the demands of all of us, who live, work
and rear our families in this part of the country.
The community backed campaign by the West-On-Track
committee for the re-opening of the rail lines caught the
imagination of all as a worthwhile project that would bring
balanced regional development to the West.
At a time when gridlock is the order of the day along the
East coast, it is reassuring to think that the re-opening of
the abandoned rail network, will ensure that such a crisis
will not visit us.
Third level students too, will be able with ease to catch
a train from any part of this region for universities or
regional colleges in SIigo, Castlebar, Galway or
It is important to stress that the re-opening of the
Western Rail Corridor is seen as a single development
It is vital that it is completed in its entirety.
Otherwise the region as a whole will not benefit.
There may be some opposition in the Department of
Transport to the plan. But the unequivocal backing of the
Taoiseach to the project mirrors the public support and
demand there is for the rail corridor.
We must now await a report of the expert working-group,
under the chairmanship of Mr. Pat McCann before the project
can proceed to the next stage.
I have no doubt but that the provision of this piece of
vital infrastructure will stand as a lasting memorial to Mr.
Ahern, who has the foresight to see how such a rail link
will transform the West.