Regional development

 

Sir, – James Grant’s letter of January 25th mixes up two issues, building heights and decentralisation. What Mr Grant may want is a reduction of pressure on essential services in Dublin. Decentralisation conjures up an image of forced migration of civil servants to regions outside Dublin.

What the country needs is balanced regional development that will enhance the regions and reduce the pressure in Dublin. Presently we have approximately 1.5 million people living in the greater Dublin area, compared to 230,000 in the recently expanded boundaries of Cork city, Limerick with 94,000, and Galway with 79,000. Compare these figures to Norway, where Oslo has 673,000, Bergen 247,00, and Trondheim 182,00. In Sweden, Stockholm has 1.5 million, Gothenberg 572,000, and Malmo 301,000. In Finland, Helsinki has 643,000, Espoo 279,000, and Tampere 231,000.

All political parties should be agreeing a long-term plan to work towards a more balanced regional population built on jobs, arts, culture, transport, sport and leisure. Dublin airport has approximately 30 million passengers, whereas Cork and Shannon have less than three million each. A second runway to be built in Dublin will only increase congestion on the M50.

Why have both Croke Park and the Aviva in Dublin, the National Gallery, the National Museum, the National Symphony Orchestra and the National Theatre all in Dublin? Soon even Shannon’s water may be in Dublin.

What political party is proposing any changes in regional development? – Yours, etc,

ROGER FLACK,

Currabinny,

Co Cork.