I welcome news from the Budgetary Oversight Committee in recent days that the development of the N4 and N5 is top of the priority list for the forthcoming budget but it is only one item in a list of badly needed infrastructural projects that are required in the West.

The upgrading of the N4 and N5 are essential works, but there are many more infrastructural projects needed in the West and I am calling for funding to be earmarked for the N59 in Galway and also for works to commence on a ring road for Galway City. I would also be proposing that funding be set aside for the new A and E unit at Galway University Hospital and that the National Broadband Plan be fast tracked especially for small business people and farmers.

I have highlighted the infrastructure defecit in the West and in rural areas many times and now with the economy improving nationally, I would ask that all politicians in the West lobby the Government and the Minister to include funding for these badly needed infrastructural projects for the West prior to the Budget. There are so many headings under which capital investment is needed including roads, agriculture, health, education, broadband, tourism and water services to mention but a few, and now is the time for the Government to invest in rural areas to show that they are serious about keeping rural communities alive.

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