Metro needed for Fingal and Dublin
Brian Hayes MEP tells a local audience 'we need Metro North'
Speaking at a party fundraiser in Fingal, Fine Gael MEP for Dublin, Brian Hayes told a local audience 'we need Metro North'.
In his speech at the Airport View Hotel, the MEP said: 'I was interested to read comments by Pascal Donohoe in last Saturday's Irish Times. Speaking in his capacity as Minister for Public Expenditure, he referred to the Government's 10-year capital infrastructure programme which will be announced in the coming weeks.
'He made it clear that Metro North is clearly in the mix of projects. We need Metro North, not just for this region but also for the future growth of the entire county - I hope we can get it over the line.'
The Fine Gael MEP also addressed the housing crisis and said that growth in housing supply, both public and private in the greater Dublin Area, including Fingal, was an 'absolute must'.
He said: 'A clear focus on increasing housing supply both public and private, particularly in the greater Dublin region is an absolute must.
'Rapidly rising house prices and escalating rents put enormous pressure on young families looking to buy and single people looking to rent. Rising housing costs also increase wage pressure and make Dublin a less attractive place to live and work.
'There is no single solution to the current pressures in the housing market; all options both local and national, small infill developments and larger schemes have a role to play.'
On the regional and national economy, Brian Hayes MEP said: 'Just one figure to bear in mind; Ireland's population is projected to increase by more than one million by 2050 - which is just 32 years away. Places like Fingal will be key drivers in that growth in population.
'Ireland will continue to have favourable demographics compared to many countries in Europe such as Italy, Germany and some countries in Eastern Europe. But we will also have a growing cohort of older people which will require more resources.
'Sustained steady growth is an achievable target. Just look at what Dublin Airport has achieved in recent years. Last year passenger numbers reached a record 29.6 million. This was 6% growth on 2016 and a seventh consecutive year of steady growth. Some 191 destinations and 42 countries are now served by 47 airlines using Dublin Airport. The airport is now the 11th busiest airport in the European Union. 20% of Fingal's wealth is dependent upon the Airport - it's a great asset for Fingal and for Ireland.
'Remember just three years ago, the doomsday merchants, who warned against selling the 25% government share in Aer Lingus to the IAG group. According to them the sky was going to fall in if the deal went ahead. Well, Aer Lingus is flying high; expanding its transatlantic routes, expanding its fleet and growing its employment numbers.'