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Home » Breaking News » Minister Ryan slams door shut on key ring road for county Clare
Opening one road, shutting the door on the other: Councillor Tony O’Brien greets Minister Eamon Ryan warmly at the sod turning ceremony for the Killaloe bypass. He had harsh words for him however, on the subject of the NDR. Photograph by Eugene McCafferty

Minister Ryan slams door shut on key ring road for county Clare

Champion Chatter

THERE is no prospect of the second phase of the Northern Distributor Road going ahead, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan has said.

The minister emphatically ruled out the prospect of the contentious relief road going ahead on a visit to Moneypoint last Friday.

“The road isn’t in the Metropolitan area strategy. It has no Government funding and no prospect of it any time in the future,” he said.

Subsequently, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Tony O’Brien said that the Minister’s attitude to the proposal will have a terrible impact, not just on Clare, but on surrounding counties also.

“What I’d say is that this NDR has gone through every feasibility study, every phase of planning, it is included in the Mid-West Area Strategic Plan 2012-2030, it’s an integral part of that,” Councillor O’Brien pointed out.

“It was in the Limerick-Shannon Metropolitan Area Strategy, it was an integral part of that, to provide an orbital route around Limerick City and to improve public transport within Limerick City.

“It has been included in every piece of major planning for our region over the last ten years, gone through both Limerick and Clare County Development plans, been accepted by both Councils.
Now we have one man, although aided and abetted by others, saying that he’s taking it out.

“What he’s doing to the region is detrimental and will set the whole region, not just Co. Clare, back by years and years.”

Councillor O’Brien said that the quality of life of thousands of people will be negatively affected if the project is not carried out.

“They’re faced with hours and hours of traffic jams, going to college and home from college, going to work and home from work.

“I know it wouldn’t be solved this year or next year, but in a few years when work was finished it would be alleviated. To me and my colleagues on Clare County Council this makes no sense.”

He said he would do everything he could to fight the decision of a Minister, “who is not in tune with what’s required in the region”.

While the Minister was very dismissive of the NDR while in Clare, he said he does favour improved public transport to and from Limerick City.

“Limerick is going to have to grow and it hasn’t grown to the extent that we wanted it to.

“The Barrington report in the mid-’60s predicted Limerick having a population of 250,000, today it has 120,000.

“Limerick has to grow and I think it will grow best if we invest in really good sustainable transport systems such as the likes of the new station in Moyross which we’ve committed to.

“Only last week we opened new bus services that connect rural Limerick and Tipperary and the city.

“The likes of the Shannon-Foynes line which we’re looking to reopen, we can run rail lines right down to the new quayside and be part of a new economy and a new way of developing and growing.”

He also said he favours greater levels of housing in city centre areas, taking away the need for commuting.

Owen Ryan
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Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.