Ballina A Bridge Too Far For Political Accord?

Government TDs Alan Kelly and Noel Coonan are at odds with each other this week over how funding was secured for works on the new Ballina / Killaloe bridge.

Government TDs Alan Kelly and Noel Coonan are at odds with each other this week over how funding was secured for works on the new Ballina / Killaloe bridge.

Deputy Kelly, the Junior Minister for Transport, in a statement this Tuesday said: “Following intensive discussion, I wish to announce that €500,000 is being provided by my own Department of Transport for funding for the Ballina / Killaloe Bridge. This will progress this much needed project through planning to CPO status. This is great news for the area and the start of what will hopefully dramatically overhaul the local transport infrastructure and negate the regular traffic chaos in the area.

“I have been pushing for this project within the Department for quite a while, and I am delighted to see it progressing. As a local resident, I am passionate about this project and I have worked hard to make sure that it was brought to the top of the political agenda: there was still a job to do to secure this funding in the future from the Department of Transport.”

However, his Government colleague, Deputy Coonan, said in his statement: “I am delighted Minister Varadkar has responded positively to intense lobbying that Cllr Phyll Bugler and I have been making for advancement of this important project. This vital piece of infrastructure will link the West to the South and the Midlands and it will have a very positive impact on development on Ballina and Killaloe. Our focus now is to advance the scheme and continue to lobby Minister Varadkar to ensure it will remain part of the national development plan and not become a victim of the austerity measures being implemented at present.”

Full report in this week’s Tipperary Star