Party Politics Should Not Derail Critical Infrastructure Investment

Party Politics Should Not Derail Critical Infrastructure Investment

06 June 2013 at 09:56

Party politics and short-term thinking need to be put aside to support long-term planning and Ireland’s economic recovery, according to the President of Engineers Ireland Michael Phillips.

Speaking at the 2013 Engineers Ireland Annual Conference at the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin, he said some politicians did not grasp that cutbacks in the wrong areas could do severe damage to Ireland’s infrastructure and ability to compete in the medium to long-term.

“Our elected politicians who represent us at a national and local level often find themselves torn by constituency politics and demands on the capital investment purse.  Their term of office is a mere five years or maybe more if they’re lucky.  As engineers, we develop strategic plans for infrastructure to operate for possibly 80 to 100 years. For the good of our national recovery, now more than ever before, we need to leave aside local or party politics, short-term thinking and start to plan for recovery,” Phillips said to delegates.

Titled ‘Building Ireland’s Business Networks – Driving Competitive Advantage’, the Engineers Ireland annual conference, its 34th, also featured a keynote address from John Tierney, Managing Director of Irish Water, on how water could be used to drive competitive advantage.  It also included discussions on the importance of managing Ireland’s natural resources effectively, Ireland’s broadband network and 4G rollout, developing our transport system, as well as our capacity to export energy.

The one-day event also included contributions from Laura Burke, EPA, Fergus O’Dowd TD, Minister of State, Naoise Ó Muirí, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Deirdre Frost, Western Development Commission, Geoff Shakespeare, Eircom, Sheila Kavanagh, Vodafone Ireland, Michael Cawley, Ryanair, Eamonn O'Reilly, Dublin Port, Brian Brennan, Veolia Transdev Ireland, John Ahern, Indaver Ireland, Michael Crothers, Shell E&P Ireland and Fintan Slye, EirGrid.

Photo caption: John Power (left) speaks with Laura Burke EPA and Dr John Tierney Irish Water (right) on stage.