Iarnród Éireann humiliates Minister Dempsey & fails to come clean on Dublin Underground Dart delay

6th May, 2010


Transport21Fine Gael National Press Office Press
Statement by Senator Paschal Donohoe Seanad Spokesperson onTransport & the Marine

Thursday, 6th May 2010

Iarnród Éireann humiliates Minister Dempsey & fails to come clean on Dublin Underground Dart delay

To blame the planning process for the delay in the Dublin Underground DART raises more questions than answers, according to Fine Gael Seanad Transport Spokesperson, Senator Paschal Donohoe, who today (Thursday) said that Iarnród Éireann has not yet lodged a planning application with An Bord Pleanála.

“It is absolutely preposterous that a process that has not even begun yet is being blamed for the three year delay in delivering the Dublin Underground DART.

“This, along with the failure to inform Minister Dempsey of this decision, raises the question of who is really responsible for transport in our country and amounts to a calculated humiliation of Minister Dempsey by the Board of his own major semi-State.

“The Dublin Underground DART is needed more than any other Dublin Transport 21 project as it will connect many of our existing services and stations throughout Dublin. Such integration is a vital part of Transport 21 as it will help us make better use of what we already have.

“For Iarnrod Éireann to make a decision on this project, without informing Noel Dempsey, amounts to a calculated snub of the Minister. It shows, yet again, that transport is provided by competing bodies and that this Government does not have the vision and will bring them to heel. This is particularly striking owing to the fact that Minister Dempsey has just re-appointed the Chairman of Iarnrod Éireann. This is some way to repay a vote of confidence.

“To blame the planning process for this delay is just not good enough as An Bord Pleanála has not actually received the Railway Order. I also know that this Order was at a very advanced stage of preparation due to meetings that I organised between the Iarnród Éireann and the local community.

“There are serious question that must now be answered. The Minister and his semi-State must now come clean on:

  • Why Iarnród Eireann did not tell the Minister of its decision to defer this project?
  • How it can blame a planning process that has not yet begun?
  • Whether or not the Minister for Transport is happy with the reason for this delay and if he still has confidence in the Board of Iarnród Éireann to deliver this vital and much needed project for Dublin?”