With respect to planning and climate action transition, this state has a horrendous legacy when it comes to its planning strategy on public transport and the welfare of commuters. During the 40 and 50’s we virtually removed all rail links and completely removed Dublin Trams.
However one of the many tangible benefits of EU membership for many Irish people has been EU structural funds.
Unfortunately, since the 90’s we have spent and continue to spend funding on road building at the expense of public transport. Portugal for example has a comparable economic status to us, however they invested heavily into public transport and their network is now far ahead of ours.
Our current model does not serve society. Most people have to purchase cars in Ireland to be able to move from point A to B. People are then subject to all of the expenses that car ownership entails and our quality of life suffers as a result.
Even in our capital, the public transport network is not fit for purpose, not mentioning our commuter counties, people have long commutes within the city. Last year the members of the Eastern Midlands Regional Assembly made policy to provide for sustainable public transport. This policy included opening the Navan rail line and extending the airport Metro to the South-West quadrant of the city. Unfortunately, unelected decision makers seem to have forced you in your position, as Minister, to repeal this democratic process.