Support bypass or else, says TD

INDEPENDENT TD Jackie Healy-Rae is demanding a commitment to provide funding for the proposed €160 million Tralee bypass in return for his continuing support for Government.

With the Government’s majority getting slender almost by the day, the Kerry South deputy yesterday indicated he will be pressing strongly for certain projects to be undertaken throughout the county.

“I have a number of things they (government) must do for me,” he said.

He hopes to get a guarantee work would commence on the 13.5km Tralee bypass in the neighbouring Kerry North constituency.

Defence Minister Tony Killeen, speaking recently at the official opening of the Castleisland bypass, said work would be starting on the long-awaited Tralee bypass early in the new year.

Mr Healy-Rae said the Tralee bypass was vital, adding: “We will have to get it done. That’s it.”

Asked on Radio Kerry if he would vote against the Government if his demands were not met, he answered: “I must get answers first and I’ll see what I’ll do after that.” He said the bypass would be a massive boost to Kerry and surrounding areas and would be essential for a proposed major pharmaceutical project, projected to create more than 4,000 jobs in Tralee, to go ahead.

Mr Healy-Rae, who will not be seeking re-election, also said he would be insisting that work proceed on the building of a new community hospital, in Kenmare, for which a contractor has been appointed.

“I have a commitment in writing that the Kenmare hospital will commence,” he stated.

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