‘Three wee yellow lines’ would make all the difference to the proposed rail map for Ireland, according to one Donegal County Councillor.
The All-Ireland Rail Review was published yesterday, proposing the long-awaited return of rail to Donegal.
A connection from Letterkenny to Derry would link to the Dublin-Belfast link at Newry.
However, a gap in the map has been pointed out between Letterkenny, south Donegal and Sligo.
Cllr Gary Doherty took to drawing his own map.
“For the love of God, these three wee yellow lines that I’ve added would make such a huge difference. How did nobody notice that Letterkenny wasn’t connected to Sligo, Sligo to Galway and Omagh to Enniskillen?,” he tweeted.
All-Ireland Rail Review to be welcomed. But for the love of God these three wee yellow lines that I’ve added would make such a huge difference.
How did nobody notice that Letterkenny wasn’t connected to Sligo, Sligo to Galway and Omagh to Enniskillen? pic.twitter.com/80KDI0Hg5C
— Gary Doherty (@GaryDoc) July 25, 2023
Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North-West, Chris MacManus, said the review should only be a starting point for Donegal, a county that has been crying out for rail connectivity.
He said: “A cursory glance at the proposed rail map in the review shows glaring infrastructural inadequacies. To go from Ballina to Sligo… or from Sligo to Letterkenny a passenger would have to go via Mullingar and Portadown traversing about ten counties. We need a real all-Ireland rail network fit for all our citizens, in all thirty-two counties.”
MacManus called on Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to act now and invest in rail. He went on to accuse successive governments of neglecting the West and North-West.
“The West and North-West have suffered due to decades of neglect by successive Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments. Regional imbalance needs to be addressed if we are to develop sustainably and fairly across our island.
“This neglect must end. The people of West and North-West deserve better, and the government must now act and invest to help the region develop sustainably.”