On Tuesday 22nd June, a grouping representing the South East First Citizens’ Forum met with Minister Eamon Ryan - Minister for Transport and Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications. Up for discussion were key infrastructural needs for the region including the development of the N24 from Waterford to Limerick, optimising the economic and renewable energy opportunities from Rosslare and Waterford ports, and growing the network of South East Greenways for the benefit of locals and visitors alike. In a full and frank discussion, the group impressed the importance of these three key areas for the future economic and sustainable development of the South East.
The Forum brings together the First Citizens from Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford with the key goal of addressing the structural challenges faced by the South East. The five First Citizens in the Region that were also present at the meeting were: Cllr. Fintan Phelan, Carlow; Cllr. Fidelis Doherty, Kilkenny; Cllr. Michael Smith, Tipperary; Cllr. Damien Geoghegan, Waterford; and Cllr. Ger Carthy, Wexford.
Marc Ó Cathasaigh, TD who was present at the meeting stated that ‘I was pleased to be able to facilitate the attendance of Minister Ryan at this meeting, and had briefed him on the issues that would be arising. The First Citizens’ Forum is a very welcome initiative in terms of co-ordinating and mobilising political support on a regional basis in the Southeast. For too long, we have been pulling against one another – increasingly now we see the region pulling together to the benefit of all. I found the meeting informative and constructive and will be pressing the minister on a number of the questions raised.’