Coveney says new plan is ‘very different’ to Fianna Fail’s decentralisation

The government is now calling for submissions on how people in the regions want Ireland to look in 2040.

It’s part of the launch of the new ‘Ireland 2040 plan which has been launched by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the Minister for Housing and Local Government Simon Coveney today.

Minister Simon Coveney has defended claims today that this is just a ‘rehashed’ spatial strategy launched in 2002 under Fianna Fail of which ‘decentralisation’ was a core part of the plan.

The Fine Gael Minister insists this is ‘very different’ and nothing like the ‘politics’ Fianna Fail was playing by introducing decentralisation:

While there are no clear actions in the document on what will be done, it does suggest that perhaps the Galway, Limerick, Cork grouping could be looked at as an alternative to the Dublin base.

That could be bad for the North West if it meant plans for the M20 motorway between Limerick and Cork would become more of a priority than a motorway from Dublin to the North West.

Responding to the plan, Sligo Leitrim Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry says the deficiencies are already crystal-clear and the plan needs to be properly resourced to work:

However, he has accepted that his own party Fianna Fail also failed to back up the last spatial strategy with adequate resources: