The Taoiseach has said that threats of the Dáil’s youngest TD James O’Connor resigning from the party over the National Development Plan can be resolved.
The Cork East TD said that he will make a decision today on whether or not he will resign the whip after claiming that he was “misled” over the plan, as he believed it would a by-pass for Castlemartyr and Killeagh.
The Fianna Fáil party leader said that he spoke to the Cork TD last night and today and said that there will be “further engagement” with Deputy O’Connor tomorrow.
When asked if he thinks the issue can be resolved, Mr Martin said: “In short, yes.”
He said that the NDP is not an “exhaustive” list of projects.
“The National Development Plan is not an exhaustive list of projects, I mean that’s made crystal clear. It’s a high level document.
“There’s also a clause that local authorities may bring forward proposals for relief roads, bypasses where there’s significant congestion issues. Essentially that’s to accommdoate relief roads for Castlemartyr - Killeagh, other locations across the country,” he said.
“We’re all very conscious of the huge congestion in Castlemartyr and Kila because it wasn’t in the last development plan.”
He also said that Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath will be able to indicate that they want certain projects in conjunction with local authorities “progressed”.
Speaking to Patricia Messinger on C103′s Cork Today Show, Deputy O’Connor said he feels he was “lied to” by “a multitude of colleagues” but that it “would be unfair to lay the blame at anyone’s feet”.
He said that he was told in “good faith” that €54 million for a relief road at Castlemartyr and Killeagh would be provided for in the NDP but this did not materialise.