Sunday, September 23, 2007


Alignments at Newgrange

The lack of an integrated bus service between Newgrange and Drogheda bus station was brought to my attention at the beginning of the week. Although the Interpretive Centre is open until 17:45 in Winter and 18:45 in Summer, the bus to town leaves before this. The result is that staff and tourists are often stranded at the centre, and have to hitch back or call a taxi.

I thought that it would be a useful idea to highlight this issue and managed to get the story covered by the Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Mirror, Star and Mail. It was also the main story in "The Irishman's Diary" the following day. As a result, it appears that Bus Eireann and going to sit down and review the bus service to the centre. Things may hopefully improve!

I got a lot of phone calls and texts about the RTE programme on Tuesday night, "The Naked Election", which followed candidates around during the recent election. The programme had a clip of me just as I heard the result. I haven't seen the programme yet (I was in Kilkenny) but seemingly I looked as sick as a dog (which is probably how I felt!).

I was delighted to be appointed Labour Party Spokesperson on Commuter Issues. The role covers transport, environment, planning, education and health issues in the new peri-urban communities in counties like Meath, Wicklow, Kildare and down the country in Cork, Galway and Limerick. My responsibility will be to highlight issues of government policy that affect people living in these communities, and to suggest where changes and inmprovements could be made to current legislation to improve the quality of life in these areas. I'm looking forward to the job!

I was disappointed to hear you bring the tired M3 argument up on Questions & Answers. Dont you know that the people who know where its going i.e. Meath people, fully support the road. You were favoured to be elected however primarily as you didnt support the M3 I didnt give you any vote at all. I am sure it cost you in Ratoath and Dunshaughlin too. And if there was any support for tarawatch then surely their advert in the meath chronicle asking for votes for labour, SF and the greens should have helped you. It had the opposite effect as meath people see the m3 as it is, a vital project the route of which has been blown out of all proportion with the Times et al constantly telling the world that the M3 goes "through the hill". The current route is very good as it doesnt effect any established community, the alternatives did and if it was rerouted now it would be a disgraceful waste of money after four months of construction. You could never credibly critize health budget overruns ever again. You need to realise your stance on the M3 is at odds with the majority of the meath east electorate, though understandably you would not think so given how biased the media are. Again you were odds on to be elected, surely the extra support of the anti M3 crowd should have helped you, the fact it didnt shows they amount to a very loud minority in this county.
I happen to disagree with the proposed route of the M3. I'm not going to say otherwise just to chase your vote. Personally, I don't think the M3 issue made any difference to the overall election result, but you're welcome to your view. And thanks for expressing it! Dominic
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