Kehoe shares in the glory of a great day
' THIS IS A very good day for Enniscorthy,' said Minister of State Paul Kehoe, pictured below, as he looked forward to his adopted town being bypassed as part of a €500 million Model spending spree. ' Two Ministers from Wexford at the Cabinet table makes a huge difference. Other counties will be looking at us with envy – it's happening already,' he said.
'Wexford is by a long shot the best looked after county when it comes to the stimulus package,' he added, as he predicted that the improvements to the N11-M11, taking heavy through traffic out of the Enniscorthy bottleneck, will make the town more attractive to industrial investors. And he was not discouraged at the prospect of having to wait two years for work to commence.
'As long as it starts sometime in 2014, I don't mind. The NRA will have to do a huge amount of work to get the bypass to the starting point but it will be done.'
He described the package of dual carriageways planned for Enniscorthy and New Ross as one of the biggest projects ever tackled by the roads authority, apart from the M50 in Dublin.
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin was more diplomatic on what he called 'an extremely good day'.
However, he accepted that a lot of the jobs created and facilities built will be in Wexford.
He pointed out that the largesse of the nationwide €2.25 billion spend will be seen in health centres, courthouses and educational campuses all around the State. And he stressed that Galway will also notice the difference in its road network. Nevertheless, the €500 million earmarked for Wexford means that it will be looked after like no other part of the country.
' The road projects in Wexford were ready to run,' he explained on the reasoning behind the decision to favour the N11 and N25. 'We can move to construction with relative ease.' He acknowledged that residents of the Belvedere Road-Wygram area have expressed misgivings about the conversion of the former civic offices into a courthouse, but he was insistent that the work must go ahead now that the money is available. 'People's concerns will be taken into consideration, but we need to get on with it and improve our build environment. We need decent facilities for the court service.'
s dole queues lengthen, the Minister said he hoped that the ' local job impact' of yesterday's announcement will be maximised for his constituents. He was unable or unwilling to put a number on the employment creation potential of the windfall.