Photo shows Cllr Enright (centre in shirt) with Green TD’s, ministers, senators and councillors in the Glen of Atherlow, Tipperary.

Downpatrick councillor Cadogan Enright chaired weekend meetings in Tipperary between Ministers, Senators, TD’s and councillors to discuss issues around the upcoming budget in the Republic. The Green Party is currently in Government in the Republic in a coalition with the Fianna Fail party.

Cllr Enright said, “It was a great honour to be invited to chair some of the sessions over the weekend with such an important meeting. The upcoming budget and the recently re-negotiated programme for government contain many policy changes of great economic and environmental significance. It was important to let everyone have their say I was pleased as a member of the Green Party in NI to be able to be part of such an important meeting in the Republic.”

Senator Dan Boyle from Cork, and Minister for the Environment John Gormley fielded questions from elected representatives around the country on the new programme for government and clarified a number of key issues on how water rates could be structured, how a new “carbon tax” was to be introduced and what other taxes would be allayed as a result. They also dealt with the reform of local government, including directly-elected mayors.

Cllr Cadogan Enright said “There will be some important developments in the programme for people living in boarder areas like full competition between mobile phone companies or new banking arrangements for business trading on both sides of the boarder. The current phase of road building including the Belfast/Dublin and Derry/Dublin projects will continue however when completed the emphasis will be changing to public improving transport. This is an important shift in thinking, with the new west coast railway continuing to Sligo under the current phase, but proposed to continue to Donegal and Derry in the later phase potentially connecting all cities and most ports and airports in Ireland together by rail.”

“Minister Gormley is attending the upcoming Copenhagen Conference on behalf of Ireland and issues relating to this were discussed. The all-Island gas and electricity grid and our ability to inter-connect with the rest of Europe is a vital budgetary issue here. We also looked at what our strategy would be if the budget was not carried, and our approach to the subsequent election. It is likely to be a very difficult budget”, concluded Downpatrick’s Councillor Cadogan Enright.

Press Cuttings: Councillor is event chair