Independent TD for Donegal Thomas Pringle has today slammed Fine Gael for their decision to delay funding for the development of the A5.
The Cabinet yesterday decided to divert funding of €27 million from the A5 dual carriageway project as it makes cutbacks to remedy the National Children’s Hospital overspend. Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said the government remains ‘fully committed’ to the project and will provide funding when construction recommences.
However, the cut has been seen as a move against the development of Donegal’s transport access.
Speaking today, Deputy Thomas Pringle said: “Donegal has once again been dropped off the political agenda”.
He added: “Donegal has been waiting for an incredibly long time for an upgrade to the A5 and it was something I have campaigned for in all my time in politics.
“It is worrying that Fine Gael has the power and the scope to withdraw or delay funding for Donegal’s infrastructural needs overnight in an attempt to save their own skin on the national stage.”
Deputy Pringle also voiced his concerns over the promised development of the Sheil Hospital in Ballyshannon. He called on Fine Gael to bring clarity to the situation.
He said: “Now there are talks that upgrades to the Sheila Hospital in Ballyshannon might be under threat too which could affect access to health services for constituents in the south of Donegal. Fine Gael must move to reassure people that other infrastructural projects are not under threat.”
Deputy Pringle also criticised Donegal Minister Joe McHugh on his comments that commitment for A5 funding is still going ahead.
“Commitments are no good without the funding to back them up. We need assurances that funding won’t be put back again when the political agenda changes next year. Donegal cannot afford to be taken off the agenda for much longer and until Fine Gael realises that their commitments cannot be trusted,” concluded Pringle.Tags: