The Government announced details of a €116 billion plan for Ireland’s future development in Sligo last Friday.
The Ireland 2040 plan includes tens of billions of euro in expenditure on capital projects and outlines how Ireland should develop over the next 20 years.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar claims that it marked “a significant milestone in our country’s development” while Transport Minister Shane Ross added that the choice of location for the announcement was significant.
“We’re here in Sligo, because we want to send several messages. The first one is this is not a Dublin-centric plan”.
Last Friday’s launch in Sligo included two distinct features, the National Planning Framework and the National Development Plan. Project Ireland 2040 is formed by both and is the Government’s vision for how to develop the country.
The plan will see a heavy focus on health, transport and climate change and will include a series of measures aimed at tackling these three issues.
Naughten confirms Government investment in Roscommon
Investment in County Roscommon is to the fore in the Government’s spending plan over the next 10 years, Minister Denis Naughten has said.
Significant spending in the county is committed to under the health aspect of the plan, with not only the construction of a rehabilitation unit at Roscommon County Hospital but also new sterilisation facilities (CSSD).
“This investment is vital to see additional services being provided at a hospital which is now becoming far more important in treating not just Roscommon patients, but patients from across the region,” stated Minister Naughten.
The plan also provides for a new 50 bed ward block at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, which will help to relieve the current overcrowding experienced in its emergency department since the closure of Roscommon A&E.
The National Development Plan, which outlines investment up to 2027, also references the upgrade of the N5 between Ballaghaderreen and Scramogue, along with a new road between Longford and Mullingar and the by-pass at Carrick on Shannon. Further work will also take place on the N61 linking Boyle, Roscommon town and Athlone.
“Under the National Development Plan, Athlone is set to become a major regional centre which will assist the IDA in attracting investment not just into the town but into surrounding towns including Roscommon and Ballinasloe,” explained Minister Naughten.
“There is also a €1 billion rural development fund which will build on the tremendous work being done by Town Teams like those in Castlerea, Boyle and Elphin, and which will provide us with the opportunity to develop the Mount Dillon bog complex north of Lanesboro into a major national tourism and recreation park straddling counties Roscommon and Longford”.
The Government will also support the upgrading of 8,000 homes throughout Co. Roscommon to make them more comfortable and easier to heat. It will do the same for every school built prior to 2008, public nursing home and hospital throughout the country.
Additionally, local second level schools will have their school laboratories and PE facilities assessed and upgraded to ensure that all second level schools are brought up to a modern standard.
“County Roscommon is also set to get its own eHub for entrepreneurship and to assist start-up business in the technology area”.
“The investment in Knock Airport and the development of the Atlantic Corridor will improve connectivity for Co. Roscommon and make the county more attractive for new industrial and tourism investment,” Minister Naughten added.
What the NDP promises for this area:
€1 billion Rural development fund
New sterilisation facilities (CSSD) at Roscommon University Hospital
Construction of Roscommon Rehabilitation Unit
New 50-bed ward block at Portiuncula Hospital
Upgrade of N5 between Ballaghaderreen and Scramogue
New road between Longford and Mullingar and Carrick-on-Shannon bypass
Further work on N61 linking Boyle, Roscommon town and Athlone
Athlone to become a major regional centre
Development of Mount Dillon into major national tourism and recreational park
Upgrade of all schools (built before 2008), nursing homes and hospitals
Secondary education PE and lab facilities upgraded to modern standards
All new Government agencies to be located outside Dublin
Investment in AIT, GMIT, Sligo IT and NUIG
Roscommon to get its own eHub for entrepreneurship
Investment in Knock Airport
Development of Atlantic Corridor
Dedicated tourism plan for Lakelands Region