A BUSINESS case for a rail stop at Crusheen has been called for by the Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District. While council officials say that such a facility should be furthered as part of a forthcoming county-wide transport plan, Councillor Pat Hayes insists that success if more likely through an initiative focusing solely on Crusheen.
Addressing this week’s meeting of the Killaloe district committee, Councillor Hayes said that CEO of Irish Rail, Jim Meade, had told the Oireachtas Transport Committee a business case for the Crusheen stop would be considered and that the council is responsible for doing this.
“Crusheen is a growing area,” Councillor Hayes said. “It has a wide hinterland stretching to Tulla, Barefield and Ruan. It’s an ideal location for a rail stop.”
The Caher native thanked Senior Executive Engineer (SEE) John Gannon for a written response which said that a Transportation Strategy for Clare is to be undertaken to highlight gaps in public transport and inform decisions on capital spending.
“The response is welcome,” Councillor Hayes said, “but I would be concerned that Crusheen could get lost in a plan for the whole county. Can we go back to the drawing board on this? We must do more to encourage people to use the rail network and the Limerick to Galway line is increasingly popular.”
Senior Engineer John Leahy who attended the virtual meeting noted progress with the Limerick-Shannon Metropolitan Area Transport Plan and that next priority would be a plan for the whole county. “We need to make Crusheen’s case within the county-wide plan in conjunction with the National Transport Authority (NTA),” he said. “They won’t entertain it otherwise.”
Councillor Hayes agreed that a county-wide plan is needed but appealed for a business case to be made independently for the Crusheen stop. “Irish Rail and the NTA could put a rail stop in at Crusheen independently of any future transport plan for the county. We now have a minister with Green credentials who would, no doubt, support this stop. We badly need a county-wide plan, especially to look at rural transport, but we can’t kick Crusheen to touch. It needs to be advanced quickly and I would ask that the council talks to the NTA and Irish Rail.”
Mr Leahy said the council would raise the matter when speaking with the NTA.
Councillors Alan O’Callaghan and Joe Cooney expressed their support for the motion.