Minister for Transport to
announce WRC Working Group over Easter
Wednesday March 31st 2004
The West on Track Community Campaign has welcomed a
pledge by Minister for Transport Mr. Séamus Brennan
T.D. that the membership of the long-awaited Working Group
on the re-opening of the Western Rail Corridor will be
announced over Easter.
Speaking to journalists in Sligo earlier this week, Mr.
Brennan acknowledged that there had been a considerable
delay in honouring the commitment originally given in
December last, and subsequently in Kiltimagh seven weeks
ago, but stated that this had been due to his desire to have
the best possible Chairman rather than any delaying tactics
on the part of his Department.
Mr. Brennan said he recognised the growing sense of
frustration and annoyance among campaigners and the general
public but asked for forbearance for just a short while
longer. He confirmed that all the other members of the
Working Group had now been put in place and that once the
Chairman had been appointed an announcement would quickly
Mr. Brennan said he wanted to have a "dynamic" Chairman
who would move the project forward as quickly as possible
and who would have a proper understanding of the issues
A spokeswoman for West on Track admitted that a deep
sense of unease had been developing in the region over the
past few weeks because of a perceived lack of information
coming from the Department. Although a number of people had
been approached to serve on the Working Group, there
appeared to be little evidence of the "sense of urgency"
which the Minister had promised in Kiltimagh.
"Thankfully the Minister has now gone some way towards
allaying those fears but it is not unreasonable to suggest
that the public will remain sceptical until the Working
Group has been appointed and until the date and location of
the first meeting has been announced," she said.
She added that the West on Track campaign would
participate in good faith in the Working Group on the
understanding that its agenda would be fully consistent with
the re-opening of the entire Western Rail corridor in