Longford TD raises Longford's infrastructural woes

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Longford/Westmeath Fianna Fáil general election candidate Joe Flaherty

Longford/Westmeath TD Joe Flaherty

Longford's infrastructural deficit will only get worse unless swift and decisive government action is taken, it was claimed this week.

Longford-Westmeath TD Joe Flaherty  issued the warning in the Dail last week as he called on Leinster House chiefs to tackle a number of major projects which he confided would ensure the county's economic well-being in the wake of Covid-19.

“On the back of Covid-19 we have the opportunity, and possibly our best chance ever, to truly address rural imbalance and especially some of the regional and structural deficiencies that haunt counties such as Longford. In Longford we have waited ten years for the N4 upgrade,” he said.

The Longford based politician said while Covid-19 has thrown much of the county's economic blueprint in doubt, it has also redirected the spotlight on how regional growth and development should be upheld going forward.

“Edgeworthstown and Ballymahon, are both effectively at a standstill with further development because both require new sewage treatment plant upgrades. The challenge for Longford as a county, and for many other similar-sized counties, is to try to kick-start commercial house building activity within the county once again,” he said.

Mr Flaherty said the difficulty for any developer who wants to build a scheme in Ballymahon or Edgeworthstown is the “heavy and punitive charges” facing builders from Irish Water.

“We have not had a three-bedroom semi-detached house built in Longford in more than 11 years,” he said.

“This is the standard-bearer in commercial house building.

In Longford town, Mr Flaherty said there were houses built more than 30 years ago that were still not connected to main sewers.