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 Header Item Road Projects (Continued)
 Header Item Estimates for Public Services 2019: Message from Select Committee

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 990 No. 3

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Deputy Niamh Smyth: Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth To revert to the residents of Donaghmoyne who have raised these concerns with my office, they would like to know what research will be taken on by TII on foot of the submissions that were made to upgrade the existing N2 and make it safer for residents. They also have stated that to move the N2 away from Carrickmacross and the surrounding areas obviously will have a detrimental impact on local businesses and employment. What will be the economic impact on Carrickmacross or does that come into consideration when TII is nailing down what the route will be? These residents are reasonable people. We talk about climate action and climate change and they are concerned about the environmental impact it would have to build a new route through their fields, farms and homes. What will the environmental impact be? What will the impact be on the hedgerows? What will the impact be on the biodiversity? What will the impact be on the natural heritage of Donaghmoyne that will adversely affect the residents living in that area? What consideration does TII give to those possible negative outcomes? There is a concern a new route will negatively affect the quality of the drinking water in the area in both public schemes and private wells. There is a concern for the wildlife. The residents want to know how with what importance TII is taking that. Does it take those kind of things into consideration? We hear a lot from the Government about climate action and healthy living but the residents of Donaghmoyne feel they have more to lose than to gain if the proposed route was to cut through their farms, lands and homes. How is constructing a new road in line with Ireland's sustainable development goals, such as climate control and the reduction of CO2 emissions? I want to make it clear to the Minister the residents are concerned, and rightly so, given the points I have raised today. They seek assurances from the Minister today that all the matters I have mentioned, such as the environmental impact, the drinking water and the natural heritage of the land and landscape are matters TII will take into consideration when it is trying to nail down its final option.

Deputy Shane Ross: Information on Shane Ross Zoom on Shane Ross I could not disagree with anything the Deputy had to say but obviously she does not expect me to interfere in a specific case of this sort and I would not do so. I am responsible for overall Government policy and if there are infringements on Government policy in what is happening. The residents have great concerns about that and they can convey them to me through Deputy Smyth. I am happy to listen to them. The Deputy spoke about the quality of the drinking water, the detrimental impact on local businesses, the research and upgrade done by TII. What she said was fair and she correctly referred to TII and the local authorities in that regard. These are all matters that could usefully be addressed to TII and the local authorities but they are not something in which I would get directly involved and I prefaced my remarks by pointing that out.

The Deputy is lucky in one sense. I know people are impatient about the development of roads of this sort but this particular project is at an early stage of development and therefore, it is not possible for me to indicate the timeframe for the construction of the projects, which will be dependent on the satisfactory conclusion of the statutory planning approval process. The schemes will need to obtain both business case approval and planning consent and will be subject to the availability of funding in the future. All the concerns the Deputy addressed have been raised in a timely fashion and it is not too late to raise concerns. Those concerns should be addressed to TII, however, and not to myself or other authorities, although it is appropriate the Deputy should raise the matter in this House. I will make sure those concerns are conveyed to the appropriate authorities, even though I am unable to give a direct response to the lengthy detail the Deputy has given but I will make sure those details go to the right places.

Estimates for Public Services 2019: Message from Select Committee

Acting Chairman (Deputy Alan Farrell): Information on Alan Farrell Zoom on Alan Farrell The Select Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence has completed its consideration of the following Supplementary Estimates for public services for the year ending 31 December 2019: Vote 28 - Foreign Affairs and Trade; and Vote 35 - Army Pensions.

  The Dáil adjourned at 3.25 p.m. until 2 p.m. on Tuesday, 3 December 2019.

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