March on Dáil to highlight poor state of the N4
Leading Sligo restaurateur, Anthony Gray will lead a march of the Dáil on Wednesday to highlight the need for investment in infrastructure in the North West.
In particular, Mr Gray who owns two restaurants in Sligo, wants to see an urgent upgrading of the main Sligo Dublin road to motorway status.
The poor state of the N4 from Castlebaldwin to Collooney, a distance of 12k, is seen as a significant hindrance to investment in Sligo and the North West.
Mr Gray's Revive North West group has collected over a 1,000 signatures in advance of the trip to Dublin.
"We have also received the wholehearted backing of many business leaders in the region and from the community in general.
"People like David McGowan of Quirky Glamping in Enniscrone and singer Kian Egan have all been in touch wishing us well.
"It is going to be a very positive march on Wednesday, highlighting the very positive aspects that Sligo and North West has but also pointing out that it also badly needs investment in infrastructure.
"There will be no negativity surrounding this march. We all want to see progression for Sligo.
"There will be nothing negative at the Dáil. We are using this trip as a PR campaign for showing the many wonderful aspects which Sligo has to offer," he said.
He expects to be greeted by the constituency's TD's on the group's arrival at the Dáil and says he will bring his message to whoever approaches and wants to listen.
"We certainly hope to see some of the politicians and perhaps the minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe will come out to see us or even the Taoiseach himself, we don't mind," said Anthony.
He is hoping to present the petition to either Minister Donohoe or Transport Minister Shane Ross or if not, one of the constituency's TD's.
The group will leave Sligo by train at 11.05am on Wednesday and will proceed to the Dáil where they will march from around 3pm to 5pm before taking the train home again.
Anthony says he's not sure how many will make the trip but he expects a group of up to 50 to go.
"It's mid week and many people have been in contact to say they cannot take time away from work but that they will be very much with us in spirit," he says.
He added: "We're just going to try to put on as much pressure as possible to have this vital road to the North West upgraded.
"A dual carriageway would do so much not only for Sligo but the entire region.
"It's vital there's progress on this as soon as possible."