Other News In Brief

Taoiseach Condemns Co Fermanagh Bomb Attack

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has condemned the "cowardly actions" of those who planted a bomb in County Fermanagh this morning, Monday 19 August.

A number of PSNI officers escaped injury when the device exploded at Wattle Bridge, close to the border, at around 10.35am today. The explosion occurred after army bomb disposal experts had defused a larger device in the area.

The first device was confirmed as a hoax.

Mr Varadkar hit out at those responsible for the bomb, which could have had devastating consequences and potentially killed officers in the area.

He said on Twitter today: "There is never any justification to use violence to achieve political aims.

"The people of Ireland, North and South, had their say on this issue when they voted overwhelmingly and emphatically for the Good Friday Agreement. It is a considerable relief that no PSNI officers were seriously injured or killed when this bomb went off.

"We should be in no doubt that this device was intended to inflict maximum harm. I encourage anyone who has information on this incident to provide it to the PSNI, so that those responsible can be brought to justice and future attacks prevented."

Irish Water Issues Odour Warning Amid Work At Ringsend Plant

The public are advised to be aware of a potential bad odour as work continues at Ringsend Water Treatment Plant in Dublin.

The company said the warning applies to the next five days, but the maintenance will then reduce the risks of future smells form the plant.

A spokesperson said: "These works are essential maintenance works on one of the odour control units at the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant, and involve replacing carbon odour control media to ensure any odours generated in the primary clarifiers are effectively treated. There may be intermittent odours while these works are carried out."

Irish Water has apologised for any odours that arise while the work is being carried out.

Transport Minister Slammed For Lack Of Infrastructure Investment

Transport Minister Shane Ross has came under fire after his Department confirmed it will not take advantage of the Connecting Europe Facility funding.

CEF is an EU funding instrument aimed at infrastructure investment including transport.

The Department of Transport will not be submitting an application for this round of funding, it was revealed in a parliamentary question response to Fianna Fáil. This call for funds has €100 million of co-funding available for successful applications. €65 million of this is for actions related to projects on the comprehensive TEN-T network.

Fianna Fáil representative Marc Mac Sharry TD has called the government's decision "baffling" as the country prepares for life after Brexit.

Deputy Mac Sharry commented: "In a recent parliamentary reply the Minister stated 'it is not envisaged that my Department will be making an application in its own right under the current call'. The decision not to apply for funding under this round is even more baffling when you consider the threat that Brexit presents to Ireland's ties with Europe. At a time when we should be seeking new connections, Minister Ross has not bothered to apply for European funding to do so.

"This is part of a long-term trend of Fine Gael. Looking at the overall figures for the current Connecting Europe Facility programme, which has allocated €24.05 billion for the period 2014-2020. Of the 28 member states, only three countries have drawn down less funding than Ireland. When we look at the amount drawn down as a percentage of GNI, only two countries have drawn down less than Ireland over the entire period.

"Denmark, a country with an economy of similar size to Ireland, has used CEF funding to drive a €2 billion investment programme in its rail services and to roll out hydrogen-powered public transport.

"This funding could be used to provide vital upgrades to benefit Irish commuters, such as providing better rail journey times, more comfortable rail services, or enhancing Irish ports," he concluded.


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