Government document reveals Cork to receive €1.4 billion more than South East in funding over the next 7 years
ON September 19, 2018 the Government published an Investments Project tracker, which listed all of the capital projects – and the individual Departments responsible for delivering them – which will receive capital funding between now and 2027. The document is essential reading for the people of Waterford and the South East as it provides a tangible representation of where the region lies in the Government’s future plans.
An initial search of the document for “Waterford” reveals just one result – The Dunmore Wing at University Hospital Waterford – which will receive €21m in Capital funding. The total cost of the building, according to the Department of Health, is €31.26. The balance, as is well known in Waterford, is being paid for by the Hospice Movement via donations made by the people of Waterford.
With regards to the rest of the South East region, there’s just one project for Wexford – a flood relief scheme in Enniscorthy, which is receiving €33m in Capital funding. Kilkenny has two projects in the Tracker, a new water treatment plant (€21m capital funding) and a new MRI for the radiology department in St Luke’s Hospital (€3m capital funding). Tipperary has two projects – a new Ward and Outpatients Department at South Tipperary General Hospital (€4m) and a new Crisis Housing Unit in Clonmel (€2m). The population of the South East is approximately 520,000 and the total amount of capital funding coming our way between now and 2027 is €94.26m.
The population of Cork is marginally more than the South East region at 542,868. According to the Investment Tracker there are 19 projects earmarked for capital investment in Cork between now and 2027, and two projects that are described as “discrete infrastructure projects”, which essentially means that they are separate to all of the other projects and will require additional funding. The total amount of capital funding for the 19 projects, which includes a comprehensive flood relief scheme encompassing the whole county, significant road and water supply upgrading, as well as improvements and additions to Cork University Hospital, is €1.56 billion. The two separate projects which have been green lit by the Government are the building of an “elective only hospital”, which will cost €150m and a separate new hospital at a cost of €200m.
Despite having a population of only 24,000 more than the South East, Cork is going to receive €1.46 billion more in capital funding between now and 2027 – according to the Government’s Investments Project Tracker. The Waterford News & Star contacted the county’s four TDs, John Halligan, David Cullinane, Mary Butler and John Deasy to see what they intended to do to about the substantial difference in capital funding. No reply was received from either John Halligan or John Deasy, and Mary Butler’s office confirmed that the Fianna Fáil TD was currently on annual leave.
Sinn Fein TD David Cullinane said that the figures painted a “very depressing picture”.
“I have tabled a number of parliamentary questions recently requesting a full list of all capital projects currently being funded by each Government Department and broken down by county and by region. The South East Economic Indicator published by academics at WIT paints a very depressing picture – Waterford is not getting its fair share,” Deputy Cullinane said. “I recently published a health document outlining multiple capital funding applications made by UHW. The vast majority have not received the state funding necessary. The same is happening in other departments. The local Government Oireachtas members must do more. We have lots of promises and announcements by the local Government Minister and Oireachtas members but not enough delivery. Those in Government and those keeping the Government in place need to be asked directly – are we getting our fair share and if not what are they doing about it?”