YellowTrainMinister of State Sean Connick, along with Waterford City Councillors David Cullinane, Jack Walsh and Gary Wyse have voiced their continued opposition to the proposed closure of the Waterford/Rosslare rail line.
Indeed, the campaign for the line’s retention was brought to the attention of the EU Commission in Brussels last week by East (Leinster) MEP Nessa Childers and Wexford Town Councillor Joe Ryan (both Labour).
With the line’s fate apparently doomed, Minister Connick said that Iarnród Éireann (IE) had adopted a “gung ho” policy regarding the route.
Speaking to The Munster Express, the New Ross-based Minister, who served as Chairman of the ‘South East on Track’ lobby group, said IE had “an economic argument that we can’t counter at the moment”.
Minister Connick added: “My own view is that probably linking Wexford direct to Waterford would be more practical because you’re talking about two major population bases in both.”
As a supporter of “the regional view”, clearly conscious of his unique political position in the region, Sean Connick re-asserted his long standing support for the line’s retention.
“We’re going to continue the fight; we may have lost this particular battle but the war is not over. And we’ll continue to fight to see if we can come up with some initiative to ensure the line is back and up and running as quickly as possible.
“Closing the line down is a negative move and one that again disenfranchises the people of the south east and I’m not happy about that.”
The line’s future was subject to debate in Brussels last week when Cllr Ryan joined Ms Childers to discuss the matter with EU Commission officials.
Both argued that the line could yet be saved were the Government prepared “to seriously examine the potential to draw down EU funding to upgrade the line”.
See The Munster Express newspaper for full story.