Shane Ross to seek advice on toll roads shareholding

Transport Minister Shane Ross is to seek advice on whether he will have to now sell his shares in NTR tolls.

The latest Register of Members’ Interests shows the toll roads company is among a number of firms that Mr Ross has shares in.

However, a spokesperson for the Independent Alliance last night said: “He has done nothing yet but he will do whatever is advised is the correct procedure — either sell them or freeze them.”

Mr Ross, who has been an outspoken critic of many of the agencies and organisations he now finds himself the minister in charge of, has also not decided whether he will continue writing his weekly newspaper column while serving at the Department of Transport.

Over the years, Mr Ross has been highly critical of numerous bodies including the Dublin Airport Authority, CIÉ, and the National Transport Authority.

Yesterday, Mr Ross referred back to the “history” he has with union leaders who in previous newspaper pieces he said had “wallowed in the swamp of bourgeois government patronage”.

“God knows how the bearded trade unionist Jack O’Connor and I will get on if we ever have to sit across the table over the Luas strike or any other dispute. Everyone says he is a really nice, committed guy, but we have a bit of history…” he wrote in his weekly column yesterday.

With the Luas industrial dispute still ongoing, it is likely that Mr O’Connor will be one of the first people the outspoken politician will have to speak with.

Mr Ross will also have to deal with industrial unease among bus and rail drivers, who will also be expecting better pay and conditions if concessions are granted to Luas workers.

The Dublin Rathdown TD said the “hard work” will begin this morning when he enters the department.

“I meet the mandarins, many of whom have been lampooned in this column,” he wrote. “The difficulties in transport are formidable. Yet the unique background to the formation of the Government suggests that real reform is possible.”

Mr Ross added: “The omens are good, although the transition will be difficult.

“It was already difficult on Friday to see old friends on the opposition benches. It was possibly harder to see recent political opponents in adjoining seats.

“But we will embrace a new Dáil where the views of everyone must be considered to pass measures.

“Past hostilities will need to be forgotten in the interests of the nation,” he wrote.


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