Catherine Connolly TD has questioned the Minister of Rural and Community Affairs Michael Ring about the state of the dangerous Bothar Dhoirefhearta in Carraroe.
The exchange took place in the Dáil during Priority Questions.
Catherine Connolly TD asked the Minister when a decision is expected on the application received from Galway County Council in regard to funding for the road.
Minister Michael Ring said that the application was submitted under the wrong scheme.
“The local improvement scheme supports improvement works on private, non-public roads to improve access for people who live or work along these roads. I understand the project in question relates to a public road; it is, therefore, not eligible for support under the scheme,” he said.
The Galway West TD replied: “I am at a loss to understand what is going on. B’fhéidir go mbeidh an tAire Stáit, an Teachta Seán Kyne – the Minister’s colleague – in ann tuilleadh cabhrach a thabhairt.
“We have attended public meetings and I have followed all of the correspondence. I have a list of it in front of me.
“I understand we have already received the reply the Minister has given. I understand from more recent replies that the application is before the Department of Rural and Community Development. At this point what I want to hear is an acknowledgement that this cannot go on.
“This is a road i gcroílár na Gaeltachta.
Tá droch-chaoi ar an mbóthar agus tá sé baolach. It is dangerous and in the heart of the Gaeltacht. I ask for the Minister’s assistance in clarifying where the people of Carraroe can go with the application.
“They are going from Billy to Jack and back to Billy again, from the county council to the wrong Department and then another Department and all the time the condition of the road is worsening. Tá sé ag éirí i bhfad níos measa. Ag an bpointe seo, ar a laghad, I seek direction and a commitment to help the people living in the area to address their legitimate concerns.”
The Minister acknowledged Connolly’s frustration, saying that he was aware of the public meetings held about the condition of the road.
“I also know that the Deputy met the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Deputy Shane Ross, during the summer,” he explained. He also said that he would write to Minister Shane Ross in relation to the matter.
Catherine Connolly acknowledged this, however she said that there should be more communication between departments on these matters.
“I would have thought one Department communicated with another, as the Minister is now planning to do. Earlier there was a discussion between him and an Teachta Éamon Ó Cuív about the millions that had been refunded, yet here is a Gaeltacht community that is struggling to survive and, more importantly, be safe in using the road. At some stage there has to be communication between the two Departments. It is not happening in the absence of support from local Deputies. We have repeatedly attended public meetings and raised the matter.”