Senator urges government to take steps to publish All Ireland Rail Review

Fianna Fáil Senator Niall Blaney has called on the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan to meet with politicians in Northern Ireland regarding the All Ireland Rail Review in order to allow publication of the report. 

Senator Niall Blaney was speaking to Minister Ryan in the Seanad who has previously stated he won’t publish the report until there is an executive in Northern Ireland.

It has previously been suggested that a railway line from Letterkenny and Derry could be among routes in the plan.


“Even if the impasse in Northern Ireland reaches a deal tomorrow it doesn’t mean we will have Stormont up and running within a number of months. We can’t afford to wait on this to happen to move forward with the All Ireland Strategic Rail Review,” added the Donegal Senator.

In late 2020, Senator Blaney met with the leader of the SDLP Collum Eastwood regarding having Northern input into the All Ireland Rail Review being carried out by the Department of Transport.

Following this, contact was made by former Minister for Infrastructure Nichola Mallon and a twin-track approach to the review was adopted by both Governments.

“This review is all-important for the whole country but especially the Mid West which is completely lacking rail services. It’s imperative we find a way forward in publishing the All Ireland Strategic Rail Review so that we can move forward with projects that will return rail connectivity to Donegal and wider Mid West,” concluded Senator Blaney.

Minister Ryan agreed with Senator Blaney’s suggestion that it would be “intolerable” to not publish the review while waiting on the impasse in Northern Ireland. Minister Ryan committed that if a deal isn’t reached in the short term in Northern Ireland well then he will travel to Northern Ireland and meet with NI politicians in order to allow progress on the All Ireland Rail Review.

Minister Ryan said “I think it is vital that we get connectivity to Donegal” and highlighted the potential of a rail line between Portadown, Dungannon, Omagh, Strabane, Lifford, Letterkenny and Derry.



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