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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

Two of the most important documents for this country's future will be issued shortly after our return in the new year. One of them is the capital programme for the next ten years and the other is the national planning framework. We have a national remit but we must still look after every region of the country. If we wish to be relevant, we should have a specific discussion on the contents of the national development plan and the planning framework at the start of the new year. Let me give an example. In my constituency there is a road that links Dundalk with Sligo, which is known locally as the east-west link. It is a vital piece of the road network and an artery for a number of important businesses like Carton Brothers in Shercock, Abbott Ireland in Cootehill and a number of other indigenous businesses. These businesses depend on the road. The Leader has a great interest in the regions, as I do. He knows that one does not readily attract jobs to these areas and, therefore, it is crucial to maintain existing jobs. The development of the east-west link road that connects Dundalk with Sligo is crucial for the people in the area as it will help maintain their businesses. It is also crucial for the local community and should feature very strongly in the capital programme for the coming ten years. It is important that we get an opportunity to say so to the Minister early in the new year so I ask the Leader to arrange the debate. I want an opportunity to explain to the Minister in the House the importance of the east-west link road that goes through Cavan and Monaghan, and towns like Carrickmacross, Shercock, Cootehill, Cavan and right through to Sligo. As a priority, I urge that the road is upgraded to a level that is user-friendly and suitable for modern commerce and the businesses which are so important to the region.