Martin Cullen: in hospital.         | Photo: Gavin Downey

Martin Cullen: in hospital. | Photo: Gavin Downey

Though no official announcement had been made before we went to press on Tuesday night, it is almost certain that the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Martin Cullen, is to resign his ministerial position due to continued ill health related to chronic back pain.

The Waterford Minister is receiving treatment in a Dublin hospital this week and, if it comes to pass, his departure from high office will mark the end of a productive era for Waterford city and county when unprecedented investment in infrastructure took place due to his influence.

The new bridge, the city by-pass, the outer ring road, expansion at WIT plus a myriad other structures and benefits came to pass because, for the first time since Austin Deasy in the 1980s, Waterford had a strong, influential voice at the cabinet table. Waterford did not receive preferential treatment but, at long last, it started to receive its fair share of investment.

While party politics is always to the fore, most opposition politicians would acknowledge privately that Martin Cullen has been very good for Waterford. When EU Structural Funds were flowing into the country, Waterford got little or nothing and deputations to various ministers resulted in ‘crumbs’ from the table. All that changed when Mr Cullen became first a junior and then a senior minister.

See The Munster Express newspaper for full story.