“Skulduggery” alleged as Clones roads projects passed over for funding

7 October 2010 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Allegations of “skulduggery” and political interference were made at Monday’s meeting of Monaghan Co Council when it was confirmed that two road improvement projects in the Clones area were not to receive National Roads Authority funding in 2010 despite receiving a high priority listing in the submission made by the Council for Specific Improvement Grants.

An NRA letter in response to a Council enquiry on the prioritisation of schemes submitted by the authority for inclusion in the 2010 allocations stated:

“The decision process on the inclusion of schemes had particular regard to the funding commitments that would arise post 2010 in the case of the R189 Monaghan to Newbliss Scheme and the R183 Newbliss to Clones schemes

.  As both schemes carried significantly greater funding commitment post 2010 than the other schemes committed, they were not included in the list of schemes approved.”

Clones Area representative Seamus Coyle of Fianna Fáil said he was “particularly concerned” at the correspondence and asked the Director of Services for Roads, David Fallon, to comment in relation to it.  This news was very serious for both Clones projects, Colr Coyle remarked, and he wanted to know the reason for their rejection.

In the order of ranking on the Council’s priority list, these projects were “right up there”, and he would express serious concern at their non-inclusion for funding because of the dangerous nature of both stretches of roadway.  He asked why the projects had not been taken by the NRA in the order of priority in which the Co Council submitted them.

Colr Coyle said a serious accident had taken place on the Newbliss-Clones roadway recently, which could have had very serious consequences in terms of devastating loss of life.  He asked what the implications of the correspondence were for the future funding of these projects.

He asked that this subject be added to the list of items which the Co Council wished to discuss with the NRA during a meeting it had requested with the Authority.

Sinn Féin’s Pat Treanor said that great concern existed around this issue.  The Co Council’s engineers in the Clones area had prioritised projects there.  The dangerous cross at Cornasoo on the Newbliss-Monaghan road and the dangerous Corner at Cladone on the Clones-Newbliss road were No. 3 and No. 5 on the priority list.  The NRA, however, had ignored that prioritisation and had jumped to the project that had No. 7 priority on the list.

Full story in the Northern Standard

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