East Galway TD Ciarán Cannon has said it is clear that the Freedom of Information Act needs to be improved.
Minister Cannon made the comments after what he calls ‘inexplicable denials of perfectly legitimate requests’ from supporters of the Quiet Man Greenway for access to the rail review.
The Fine Gael TD said that he is pleased to note that the Information Commissioner is urging the incoming government to review the Act and that he has stated there is ‘considerable room for improvement’ with the legislation.
“I especially welcome the recommendation of an administrative tribunal to consider appeals which would certainly be a less costly approach than engaging in court proceedings,” said Minister Cannon.
The call for a review of the Act will also resonate with supporters of the Quiet Man Greenway, from Athenry to Tuam and beyond, the Fine Gael TD said. Many of these supporters submitted requests to access the contents of the rail review – but were met with ‘inexplicable denials’ along the way.
“A proposal such as reopening a rail service which has been closed for nearly half a century and is likely to cost the taxpayer anything up to €150m should be open to the fullest scrutiny.
“Almost nine months on from the delivery of that review to the Minister for Transport, people in East Galway are none the wiser as to its conclusion on the business case for this proposal and that is in no way an acceptable situation,” added Minister Cannon.