Pledges made on roads and health

 

The absence of motorways to the north-west, inequality in the health service, Shannon River flooding and the arts were among issues raised at the Government's consultative forum in Ballaghaderreen yesterday.

Questioned about the health service, the Minister, Mr Cowen, denied social inclusion was lacking in his plan.

He told delegates at the Economic and Social Infrastructure forum that a £2 billion investment represented a trebling of funding over seven years.

The Minister said he would be meeting the Northern Health Minister, Bairbre de Brun, on February 4th to maximise services for people in the Border counties.

The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Ms de Valera, also said she would meet her counterpart in Northern Ireland, Mr Michael McGimpsey, on facilities for the performing arts.

The Minister for Public Enterprise, Ms O'Rourke, said she was interested in establishing a single Shannon River authority to tackle flooding.

On the lack of a motorway network, the Minister for the Environment, Mr Dempsey, promised to improve all roads in the area.