Rabbitte calls for
re-opening of Western Rail Corridor
Monday 3rd November 2003
The leader of the Labour Party, Mr. Pat Rabbitte T.D.,
has issued a strong statement of support for the re-opening
of the Western Rail Corridor. Speaking following a meeting
with representatives of the West on Track campaign in
Claremorris on Saturday last, Mr. Rabbitte said that there
was no longer any justification for telling people in the
West that their infrastructural needs could not be met in
the short term.
"The recent revelations in the mid-term review of the
National Development Plan about the massive underspend in
the BMW region come as a wake-up call to us all. The
re-opening of the Western Rail Corridor on a phased basis
provides a gilt-edged opportunity for the Government to
begin to address the extraordinary imbalance in regional
development and to give a vote of confidence to the economic
future of towns and communities from Sligo to Limerick."
Mr. Rabbitte pledged the Labour Party's support for any
positive initiative from Minister for Transport, Mr.
Séamus Brennan leading to the re-opening of the rail
corridor but urged the Minister to act quickly while the
National Development Plan was still being implemented.
Mr. Michael D. Higgins T.D. (Galway), who accompanied Mr.
Rabbitte, said that Labour was throwing its full support
behind the WRC campaign because the railway represented
value for money and an unrivalled opportunity for economic
development in whole region. "In the twenty-first century
the West is as entitled to modern infrastructure as any
other part of Ireland. For this reason, we in the Labour
Party are unequivocally in support of the massive community
campaign being co-ordinated by West on Track and intend to
pursue it both locally and nationally," said Mr.
Noting that Mr. Rabbitte comes from Ballindine, which is
situated on the Western Rail Corridor, a spokesman for West
on Track described the Labour leader's visit as "very
significant," and said that people would be greatly
encouraged by his strong commitment to the project.