Leo stopped in his tracks by Kathleen

MARIA HERLIHY

Published 20/02/2014 | 05:26

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Michael Doyle, IRD Duhallow board member, presenting a specially commissioned Bog Oak Clock to Minister Leo Varadkar at the launch of the Duhallow Sportive at the James O’Keeffe Institute, Newmarket, with Maura Walsh, IRD CEO, and John Feerick, MD at Independent News & Media Regionals.

MINISTER Leo Varadkar was stopped in his tracks at IRD Duhallow on Friday when local woman Kathleen Moynihan read out and presented a letter to him on her disgust at the slashing of the rural transport programme for the region.

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Minister Varadkar had finished giving a brief talk at IRD Duhallow when Ms Moynihan stepped forward and politely introduced herself and asked if she could read out a letter. Ms Moynihan then read out her letter, which outlined her disgust at the recent reorganisiation of the rural transport programme, which will see the Duhallow DART scheme ended, and the rural transport in Duhallow run by West Cork Rural Transport, based in Bantry.

'The current structure is working very well. It is the belief of thousands of people locally, whom I have been actively involved with since 1989, and whom I represent, that the current local structure of the rural transport scheme, as run under IRD Duhallow, has consistently proven its efficiency and excellence over its long track record,' Ms Moynihan said in her letter.

'I wish to bring it to your attention that there is little confidence that the proposed restructuring will be a positive change. The locally based structure has, over time, built up steadfast confidence within the community for many reasons. Locally based management has the advantage of local community knowledge for which there is no substitute. It is feared that IRD's community based approach which has been built so strongly, will be lost if control is taken from the local area.

'As it stands, there is a very precious sense of local identity, pride and achievement in the way that the existing transport system is run. Why should we dismantle the structure as it stands and remove the local input that we have strived so long to foster and develop," she concluded.

Minister Varadkar listened to Ms Moynihan as she read out the letter, and when she was finished,he said that transport was not in his remit. It was however, the portfolio of his colleague, Minister Alan Kelly.

He told her that he would present this letter and her sentiments to Minister Kelly.

Ms Moynihan then thanked him for taking the time to listen to her.

Corkman

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