Moy Valley Resources IRD calls on Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan to ensure N26 is included in National Development Plan

Annette Maughan, CEO of Moy Valley Resources IRD has today written to Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications and Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan to request the inclusion of an upgrade of the N26 from Swinford to Ballina in Project Ireland 2040

Dear Minister Ryan,

I am writing on behalf of Moy Valley Resources, a Community Development Company based in Ballina, with a remit to support the north Mayo and west Sligo region.

The company is 30 years old and was started by local businesspeople in 1990 in response to the then identified lack of investment and development by successive governments, in the region.  This innovative and dedicated group of people undertook to deliver improvements to the fabric of the communities of the region, to source funding streams, to identify development projects and to address the economic and social decline that had permeated the Moy Valley region.

This company continues on its mission to ‘facilitate the economic and social development’ of the region but is limited in its’ capacity to develop major projects that would have an overall effect on North Mayo – these are only possible with direction from and promotion at Government level.

Given the peripherality of the region, the need for road and rail infrastructure is paramount to its growth and future development as an incredible place to live, work and visit.  The region has much to offer but sub-standard access is preventing the maximising of its resources. 

In addition, the poor state of the main access road from the east, the N26, is such that transportation costs increase drastically and so play a substantial part in decision-making in relation to FDI investment. It is our opinion that the upgrading of the N26 must be a priority if the North Mayo and West Sligo region is to at least achieve par with other peripheral parts of the country and must be included in the National Development Plan and budget allocated in the Capital Expenditure Plan.

Without Government level support for this project this region will continue the drain of its young people, fail to secure additional FDI or increase tourism numbers to support our mainly agricultural economy and the ongoing decline of our rural areas will not stop.

Given the current COVID-19 induced changes that we are experiencing and the identification of the need for remote and flexible working as well as changes in lifestyle choices by many people, North Mayo and West Sligo are perfectly placed to support these changes.  However, the weakness in the accessibility of the region is detrimental to these potential opportunities.

As Minister, we call on you to take ‘balanced’ regional development more seriously and to ensure that the peripheral regions which contribute so much to the national economy are supported to become sustainable in both economic and environmental terms. 

The current plan to concentrate 50% of population growth into 5 cities, all of which are on and below the Dublin – Galway line, does not bode well for growth in our part of the Country.  It is meant to be a National plan however it seems very much focused on half of the Nation rather than the full Nation.

The upgrade of the N26 is a vital project for this region – we ask for it’s inclusion in the National Development Plan.

Annette Maughan,

CEO, Moy Valley Resources IRD

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