12 February 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Michael Fisher

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys has said it was up to Monaghan County Council how it spent its budget allocation for the maintenance of local and regional roads. She was speaking to the Northern Standard during a visit to Inniskeen, where she praised the potential of the Patrick Kavanagh Centre to bring in tourism to south Monaghan.

Asked why she would encourage tourists to visit areas such as Inniskeen, Donaghmoyne or Carrickmacross when the local road network was in such a bad condition, Heather Humphreys claimed that Monaghan County Council had not handled the situation the same as many other local authorities when it came to putting in bids to central government for roads grants.

She said it was up to the County Council how it spent the allocated roads budget. When it was put to her that she had not responded to requests last year to attend a meeting of Carrickmacross/Castleblayney Municipal District to discuss the deterioration in the condition of local roads, Minister Humphreys said she could not attend every MD meeting because of her busy schedule. She said the MD for Carrickmacross and Castleblayney had not used the allocation for roads the same way as the other two districts in Ballybay-Clones and Monaghan. As the economy improved, there would be more money to invest in roads and she would then be happy to make the case for south Monaghan.

At the start of January the Minister confirmed that her government colleague Pascal Donohoe would provide more than €13 million this year for improvement and maintenance works on roads in Monaghan and Cavan. It was part of an investment of €160 million by Transport Infrastructure Ireland. She said Fine Gael had a plan to keep the economic recovery going and ensure the government continued to have money to invest in vital infrastructure such as roads. A well-maintained road network was crucial to businesses across the country, particularly in the border region, she …

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