chief says re-opening of Railway will be Political
Press Release - Thursday
29th October 2004
The re-opening of the Western Rail Corridor will be a
political decision according to the Chief Executive of
Iarnród Éireann, Mr. Joe Meagher. In an
interview in the current edition of Rail magazine Mr.
Meagher also says publicly for the first time that he would
like to see the railway developed in stages and that the
re-opening of the Ennis-Athenry section of the line is now
desirable. It has also emerged this week that tenders are
being invited on the Iarnród Éireann website
for the operation of car-parks at Tuam and Athenry railway
"Sometimes when we are seen to prioritise things and it
is not on our list, it is perceived that we are against it,
which isn't the case. We are all railway people and we want
to see the railway developed but we have to do it in stages.
If the local authorities [along the WRC] get their
act together, which I'm sure they will, the case will be
made," said Mr. Meagher.
When asked by the interviewer if it will be a political
decision, Mr. Meagher replied "Yes."
Welcoming Mr. Meagher's comments a spokesman for West on
Track said that it was becoming increasingly clear that
Iarnród Éireann would be prepared to develop
the Western Rail Corridor provided the necessary funding is
made available by the Government.
"Mr. Meagher is right to say that the re-opening of the
WRC will be a political decision. Indeed it is clear that
the whole issue will have a major influence on the next
election in the West and Mid-West region. Given the massive
underspend in the BMW region and the likely positive
recommendation of the project by the Government-established
Working Group due to report in December, there will no
longer be any justifiable reason for not proceeding with the
re-opening of the railway which links the three cities of
Limerick, Galway and Sligo with Cork and Waterford," said