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Eamon Ryan in U-turn over Limerick road project


Green Party leader Eamon Ryan

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has performed another embarrassing U-turn, saying a controversial road project will go ahead.

The Transport Minister had cast doubt over the Limerick Northern Distributor Road Project.

But he has now said the final phase of Coonagh to Knockalisheen road will go ahead with no delays.

The climbdown follows a backlash in the Government Coalition from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael TDs over the road into Moyross in the north of the city.

"We need right transport system for Limerick. The road project will go ahead," he said on Limerick Live 95fm, adding the would be "no delays".

Last week, the Green Party Minister insisted that he wanted the €45m project delayed to allow for an examination of how public transport could be incorporated.

The project has seen prominent Green Party members leave the party in recent days.

However, this morning, Minister Ryan told the local radio station in Limerick that the project will proceed as planned.

“Talking to colleagues in the Dáil and on the council and talking to the city management, also the local community, the road project is going to go ahead,” he said.

“It’ll go ahead from Coonagh to Knockalisheen in full and see an upgrade of Moyross Avenue and Knockalisheen avenue at the same time, so that’s the entire project.”

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He said that he was speaking to city management yesterday and that a bus corridor will be incorporated into the project, as well additional “pedestrian accessibility”.

Mr Ryan said last week, he wanted to see if there was different “types of contract” available for the project, but decided against this to avoid delaying the project.

“They came back and said that there doesn’t seem to be a way of doing that. We do not want to delay this project, if we had to start the process again it would be a three year wait.”

He said that the project will proceed with “no delays”.

Last week, long serving Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea brought a motion before the parliamentary party meeting regarding the stalling of the road and it was understood that he had unanimous support from colleagues, as well as the Taoiseach.

Micheál Martin said that he would speak to Minister Ryan in attempt to resolve the row.

This morning, Mr O’Dea said that it is “good news” that the road project will now go ahead as previously planned

“It’s regrettable there was so much time and energy and effort spent in something that we’re entitled to and something that was committed to,” he said.

“Now it’s a matter of getting the machinery out on the road and getting the work started as soon as possible.”

He said that it was an “effort” to get the green light from Minister Ryan on a plan that was agreed on in the Programme for Government.

“We expected this to be signed off on in early November, now we’re into February, so there is a bit of a delay.”

He said that work will start “immediately” on the road.

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