We'll take money from North Korea or Osama Bin Laden to fix Tipperary roads - Cllr O'Meara

Noel Dundon

Reporter:

Noel Dundon

Email:

nd@tipperarystar.ie

We'll take money from North Korea or Osama Bin Laden to fix Tipperary roads - Cllr O'Meara

Cllr Michael O'Meara

Independent Councillor Michael O'Meara has told members of Tipperary County Council that he doesn't care if funding for roads in the county comes from "Osama Bin Laden or your man in Korea" so long as it arrives to tend to the ever worsening crisis.

A lengthy debate took place at today's meeting of the council and Cllr O'Meara was only one of numerous public representatives who expressed his frustration and anger with the condition of the roads of Tipperary.

Members were told that it would take €196 million to solve all the problems on the 5,700kms of roadway in the county and that funding simply will not materialise.

"The problem is down to funding, simple as that," Director of Services Marcus O'Connor said. "You can get away with reduced funding on roads to 2/3 years, but you simply cannot get away with it over 10 years. This is a legacy problem now," he said.

CEO of the County Council, Mr Joe MacGrath acknowledged that roads allocations have increased this year, but they are still well short of the 2008 allocations. "We would need to see national allocations coming to about €600m per annum in order for us to start seeing an improvement. We are a long way off that, but it has to be acknowledged that this year has seen an increase," he said.

Cllr O'Meara's comments came after he had clashed with Cllr Michael Fitzgerald who stated that a deputation to the Minister for Transport and the Taoiseach could be arranged and simple proposals put forward.

"We should be fighting our own battles rather than expecting TD's to come in here and do it for us," he said.

"I don't care who gets the funding for us, whether it's Osama Bin Laden or your man in Korea, so long as we get the money to do the roads. It's not about who gets the money, it's about getting it and getting the work done," he said.