Fine Gael TD for Kildare South Martin Heydon has today welcomed the Taoiseach’s confirmation that the Government remains committed to the sale of the energy business of Bord Gais in the right environment and for the right price.  Enda Kenny was responding to a question from Deputy Heydon during Order of Business in the Dail where Deputy Heydon highlighted the importance of the funds from the sale of state assets for key infrastructural projects such as the Southern Distributor Route in Athy.

The debate followed the statement from Minister Pat Rabbitte that he had confirmed to Bord Gais that none of the final bids received for it’s energy business were at an acceptable level.

“I welcome the Taoiseach’s confirmation that the Government is still committed to the sale of the energy business of Bord Gais but would not do so in a fire sale situation.  He informed me, that similar to the sale of Irish Life, the bids received on this occasion were not in line with the value of Bord Gais but that if future bids came in that reflect that value, the Government was still open to the sale.”

“During the debate, I emphasised to the Taoiseach the need for a stimulus package to fund infrastructural projects throughout the Country, such as the Southern Distributor Route in Athy.  I stressed the importance of raising money to fund key infrastructural projects that would bring real improved economic activity to regional parts of Ireland and that the Southern Distributor Route was a perfect example of that.”

“I have been in constant contact with Minister Varadkar on this project and I am very aware of the financial restrictions he is operating to within his Department and the difficult funding decisions that are required.  Kildare County Council initiated a cost benefit analysis for this project which strengthens the position. The Southern Distributor Route for Athy has been assessed as having a Benefit to Cost Ratio of 4:1, which is the highest of any road project in the country and illustrates the huge benefits that would derive from the project.

“Funding for the Southern Distributor Route remains my key infrastructural priority for Kildare South during the lifetime of this Government.  I will continue to raise the importance of the project at a senior government level at every opportunity I get.”