Veteran Limerick TD Willie O'Dea has accused Transport Minister Eamon Ryan of acting in "clear breach" of the Programme for Government by not allowing the controversial Moyross road project to proceed.
He said what Mr Ryan is doing is “a clear breach of the terms of programme for government”.
Speaking today, Mr O’Dea gave voice to the possible threat of Fianna Fáil TDs not supporting Green measures when they need to be voted upon in the Dáil.
Referring to comments made at Wednesday's meeting of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party, Mr O’Dea said: “In fairness I didn't hear any of my colleagues saying that, let me be absolutely clear, I'm saying it. The programme for government is a compromise.
"There are certain things in there in the programme for government at the behest of the Greens, which they expect me to support, even though I might not like them and I don't like some of them.
Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Mr O’Dea said there has been deliberate confusion spread about the stances taken by politicians in relation to the road’s progress.
“There are two phases to this project. No one is against the project in principle but people have expressed concerns around the route proposed as it would at present go through a floodplain and also divide up a village in two. So people have merely voiced their concerns on that,” he said.
Mr O’Dea on Morning Ireland said Mr Ryan’s refusal to sign off on the project is a “clear breach of the Programme for Government” which states it will develop and implement existing transport strategies for cities including Limerick and Waterford.
“€17 million of taxpayers money has already been spent on preparatory work on the road. And we're just waiting for the minister to sign off on it, and suddenly the minister Ministry of Transport changed and we've found that the minister is not signing off on it,” Mr O’Dea said.
“There's great consternation throughout the area generally not just in Moyross, but right throughout the city at what is perceived as the government's failure to fulfil its promises in the programme for government,” he added.
In response, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said the Government and society all have to deliver for the people of Moyross because that area, more than any other has been left without proper transport and was left in a cul de sac that does cut down its connectivity to the rest of the city.
Speaking on RTÉ radio, Mr Ryan said he was willing to approve part of the project but wants to explore other transport options for the rest of it, an option which Mr O’Dea utterly rejected.
“I completely reject the notion of partial road, because what's actually being proposed will result in a rat run through a residential area of Moyross,” he said.
Mr Ryan responded: “We do have to get good transport planning and the right transport plan to the area.”
Mr Ryan said he is looking at the four existing rail lines in Limerick to develop new railway stations and it is in that context that the pause on the part of the road is occurring.