General Election candidate and Fianna Fáil Cllr. Michael Sheehan, who is Chairman of Wexford County Council, has welcomed the opening of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge on the N25 over the River Barrow, bypassing New Ross, which takes place later today.
“The bridge is a major investment in infrastructure for Co. Wexford and the South-East – its benefits will last for many years. I am delighted to see an end to traffic congestion in my native New Ross, and in particular the opportunities presented by improved connectivity for business and tourism in Co Wexford.
“Now there is a potential for economic growth due to inward investment along with opportunities for the development of New Ross, recreation initiatives and new tourism.
“It provides a chance for a clean break from the area’s industrial past and legacy of Albatros, (defunct fertiliser plant on 55 acres of land on the outskirts of New Ross) rural decline and to reboot the town.
“The opening of the scheme means that chronic traffic congestion and tailbacks in New Ross will be a thing of the past, particularly during peak times, with travel time savings of up to 30 minutes.
“This will provide significant efficiencies on the strategic N25 route from Cork to Rosslare Europort while supporting the future growth and sustainability of New Ross Town and the South-East region. The scheme also links the N25 route with the N30 New Ross to Enniscorthy route.”
Cllr Sheehan went on to compliment Labour leader Brendan Howlin. “At a time of severe austerity, Deputy Howlin protected this project and without him we would not be celebrating the opening of the bridge today.
“Deputy Howlin is a good example of the impact of having a strong Wexford voice in Government with an ability to work with TDs from all parties.
“This massive piece of engineering, which is Ireland’s longest bridge, only serves to highlight the lack of other investment in New Ross and the south Co. Wexford. The N25 bypass is excellent news for New Ross. What is not excellent news is that the Government has been consistently bypassing New Ross when it comes to investment in jobs and education.
“Pockets of south Wexford have some of the highest unemployment in the country such as Clonroche, Taghmon and Campile. We need substantial long-term investment in education, childcare, rural transport, rural economic hubs and housing to make south Wexford attractive to modern industry.
Cllr Sheehan concluded; South Wexford and New Ross cannot survive five more years of under representation. We need a strong voice at the heart of Government.”