Dáil debates

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla -Topical Issue Debates

Road Projects

9:05 pm

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party) | Oireachtas source

I am very familiar with the area. My grandfather grew up in Glounthaune where we had a family farm so I know the area well. I will look closely at the file.

There is a whole range of developments in the Cork harbour and city area. We need to develop Cork as a counterbalance to Dublin. We need infrastructure in Cork, which includes Cobh and Carrigtwohill, Ballincollig on the other side, and Blarney. The city has spread a great deal. We need to bring life back into Cork but we also need to look after the 15,000 people in Cobh and those living in Glounthaune and beyond.

There will be a variety of ways to invest in this infrastructure. One will be to invest in Cork harbour. Marino Point, a deep sea port with a rail connection and one of the best harbours in the world, is an underutilised asset. It also has a lot of energy infrastructure around it. We will have to invest in the rail line. One of my top priority projects is developing a second track from Midleton to Cork city. I would also develop a station at Tivoli. I spoke to Cork County Council about this recently. If we did that, we could have 10,000 people in Tivoli docks. The other side of the estuary on the old Dunlop site and the docklands would allow massive development of the east of the city.

We also need to develop and look after Cobh for tourism and many other purposes. I know the bridge and road in question and what the Deputy has said is not untrue. The project would not be cheap. One might think it is just one section of road but it would quickly amount to tens of millions of euro. It is about balance, and I expect that, as well as the road, the strategic review is looking at further Local Link bus services and increasing frequency on the Cobh train line. Traffic volume on the R624 is an issue. The road caters for around 5,000 vehicles per day and probably has a multiple of that now. The study will have to consider the various options to solve the needs of people in the community. Their needs must come first. We must look at every option for achieving that.


Michael Sweeney
Posted on 21 Oct 2020 5:33 pm (Report this comment)

Minister Ryan must support this Project as part of Government policy to develop the regions as a counterweight to Dublin

The Regional Road 624 linking Great Island and Cobh with the National Road N25 is a strategic road in the regional economy of Cork East. Over 5,000 vehicles use this road between 6am and 9am with a similar number between 430pm and 7pm.
Workers in the dormer town of Cobh travel to work in Industry and connerce via this narrow twisty road to Cork City, Little Island, Middleton and Carrigtwohil etc. If an RTA or flooding occurs or Belvelly Bridge becomes impassable for a period , the regional economy and therefore the national economy would suffer.

Over 220,00 tourists onboard 105 Cruise liners in a 6 month period in 2019 landed in to the Cruise Liner port of Cobh. They visited Cork city Blarney Midleton and Waterford by bus. The Port of Cork Company estimate that over €11,000,000 was spent locally in this 6 month period. Cobh was voted by the Cruise industry over many years as their No. ! destination in Europe. The Cruise Industry may not return to Cobh post Covid if they feel the road network is not at a standard to ensure their clients return safely and on time to continue their cruise.
More importantly €11,000,000 would be lost to the national economy if the R624 project is not given the green light.
The €100 million cost of the project is essential in the economic development of the Cork East economy. This expenditure would be recouped in a short period of time.

Mike Sweeney

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