I want to welcome the announcement that a contract is to be signed shortly for work to commence on the new €550 million motorway between Gort and Tuam as part of a public private partnership. This is very significant news and further evidence of Government’s commitment to regional development. The new Gort – Tuam motorway forms part of the Atlantic Corridor and will be of huge benefit to County Clare.

This important route it will open up access to Shannon Airport to and from Galway City and County together with other Counties along the Western Seaboard . It’s expected that this project will take three years to be completed in full, giving a huge boost to the local economy in the process by providing much needed employment particularly in the construction sector.

Long term, I believe this project is vital to the ongoing development of tourism in the Mid-West. We must ensure in the years ahead we properly market the ease of access to Shannon Airport to the whole Western Seaboard.

This new Motorway which is expected to be toll free will ease delays through towns such as Clarinbridge, Claregalway and Tuam. Development of this key piece of public infrastructure represents a real positive for the West and I look forward to construction commencing in the near future.