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Iarnród Eireann chief says re-opening of Railway will be Political Decision

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 stations.

"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 the spokesman.








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