Fianna Fáil Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has questioned the Government’s decision to pump €36 million into CIE in the same week that it shut down a vital HSE bus service from Donegal to Dublin costing less than €100,000.
The Donegal Senator was commenting after the Cabinet this week approved a multi-million euro injection of funds into CIE to plug a hole in its books. Meanwhile the Government has refused to even consider maintaining a bus that has provided a valuable service to Donegal patients for nearly four decades.
“This raises very serious questions about the Government’s priorities,” said Senator Ó Domhnaill. “From Friday, there will no longer be a specialised HSE bus to take Donegal patients to Dublin hospitals for treatment because the Government wants to cut costs. Meanwhile, they are pumping millions into CIE that they managed to get from elsewhere in the transport budget.
“It’s all very well to pump funds into Iarnród Éireann, Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus to keep it afloat, but people are wondering exactly where this money is coming from. This cash injection will result in cuts to other areas within the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. However the Government has so far refused to reveal what areas will be affected. This is simply not acceptable. Community groups involved in tourism and sport that are depending on the funding they have been promised and they must be provided with some certainty.
“This entire announcement reveals skewed priorities, poor planning and a lack of understanding of the most basic economics,” said Senator Ó Domhnaill.