Sunday 7 February 2010

Limerick regeneration plan 'a shambles'

The Government has been accused of reneging on commitments made in a €3 billion programme to regenerate parts of Limerick City.

Limerick East TD Kieran O'Donnell claimed the €3 billion regeneration plan for the regeneration of Limerick is in "a shambles".

Mr O'Donnell's assertion came on foot of comments in today's Irish Times by Minister for Defence Willie O’Dea who said the Government will not be able to deliver the €1.7 billion it promised for the regeneration of the city.

Calling on Taoiseach Brian Cowen to clarify the funding situation "immediately", Mr O'Donnell described Mr O'Dea's comments as "disturbing".

"This is a clear reneging by Government on commitments it gave to the people of the regeneration areas of Moyross, Southhill, St. Mary’s Park and Ballinacurra Weston", he said.

“When the Limerick regeneration was announced a year ago, it was regarded by the Government as of such importance and priority that responsibility for the project was taken by cabinet and it was assumed that local cabinet Minister Willie O’Dea would have a major influence in advancing the project."

Of the €3 billion outlined in the 2007 plan for Limerick, the State had planned to invest €1.7 billion between 2009 and 2018, with private investors investing the rest.

However, in a report in today's Irish Times, Mr O'Dea hinted at the Government's inability to deliver on it's commitment to provide the €1.7 billion.

“Rather than let the thing grind to a halt because we can’t afford to put more than €25 million in in a year, let’s attract money in from the private sector and see some action,” he said.

Mr O'Donnell said the €25 million outlined by Mr O'Dea would "only allow Limerick regeneration to stand still, as it is only the same order of funding as last year".

“People living in the regeneration areas feel let down and are losing belief in the project. Taoiseach Brian Cowen must now live up to his Government’s commitment on this project, as anything less will be a disaster", he said.

"This level of funding will not build any new houses, will not provide a jobs stimulus, and will bring about none of the practical regeneration on the ground that people in Limerick expect and want to see. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous," he added.

Irish Times

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