Minister Shane Ross

  • A new system for fining motorists caught speeding will be presented to Cabinet today.

    It would see people charged a higher amount the more they're over the speed limit.

    So someone caught 10 kilometres an hour over will get 2 penalty points and an 80 euro fine.

    But a driver 30 kilometres over would get 6 points on their licence and a 200 euro fine.

    According to the Irish Times, Transport Minister Shane Ross will also propose an 80 euro fine and automatic penalty points for any driver who doesn't have their licence to hand if they're pulled over by the Gardai.

  • Anyone caught drink driving from midnight tonight will receive an automatic driving disqualification.

    Up until now, drivers caught with a blood alcohol concentration of between 50 and 80mg had a fine and penalty points imposed.

    The new provisions mean those drivers would be disqualified from driving for three months.

    Transport Minister Shane Ross says its an important change.

  • Plans for new speeding penalties will be brought before cabinet this morning.

    The changes would see drivers fined - depending on how much over the speed limit they are.

    Anyone breaking the limit by more than 30 kilometres an hour could be prosecuted and fined 2,000 euro.

    The Transport Minister has denied there's a cabinet plot to stop his proposed changes to speeding fines.

    Some rural ministers are said to be against the changes, believing they're too harsh.

    But Minister Shane Ross insists there's no effort from members of the cabinet to stop the legislation being passed.


  • The Government's being accused of leaving young people in rural Ireland stranded without cars.

    Fianna Fail's Transport Spokesperson says Minister Ross is forcing young people to wait months on end to get a driver's licence - after failing to hire enough driving test instructors.

    Deputy Robert Troy says it's impossible to get around rural Ireland without access to a car and he claims young people are being denied access to jobs, education and a social life.

  • The Goverment has given the go-ahead to award the contract for a notoriously dangerous section of road in Co Sligo.

    The N4 between Collooney and Castlebaldwin, described by Transport Minister Shane Ross as a notoriously dangerous stretch of road, is to undergo a €150 million upgrade.

    Minister Ross has announced that the 15km section of road is to be rebuilt to a modern standard.

    The existing road has seen 9 fatal road collision, 10 serious accidents and over 80 minor accidents over the past 20 years.

    Following a fatality in 2015, the section of road was described by the Sligo Coroner as "possibly the worst road in Ireland".

    The Collooney to Castlebaldwin road is to be upgraded to a Type 2 dual carriageway.

    Transport Infrastructure Ireland says it will work with Sligo County Council and the contractor Roadbridge to complete the project in 2021.



  • The Transport Minister has confirmed facemasks are set to become compulsory on public transport and it will be an offence to not comply.

    Minister Shane Ross will bring the recommendation to Cabinet today.

    Capacity on buses and trains will be increased to 50 percent from Monday as part of the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

    Minister Ross says it will be an offence if commuters don't wear a face covering on a bus, train or the Luas.

  • The Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Shane Ross will visit Connemara this evening, to officially open a new element in the visitor experience at Kylemore Abbey & Gardens.

    The new experience, called "From Generation to Generation-The Story of Kylemore Abbey" was developed following a €1.7 million investment from Fáilte Ireland.

    The investment centres on the redevelopment of the historic Abbey's interior and a new multi-media presentation.

    Kylemore Castle was built in 1868, and became the home of the Benedictine nuns in 1920 after they arrived in Ireland when their Abbey in Belgium was destroyed during World War One.

    The nuns opened a girls' boarding school, which closed ten years ago, and the restored  Abbey, Church and Victorian Walled Gardens, which are open to the public 7 days per week, attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

  • Transport Minister Shane Ross is due to visit Co Sligo next month to officially launch three infrastructural developments in the county.

    Contrary to earlier reports that Minister Ross would visit Sligo this Sunday, the Department of Transport has confirmed that the date will be Monday 25th February.

    After decades of campaigning for a new road, the Minister will turn the sod to mark the official start of construction work on the new €100 million N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin road.

    This stretch of road has claimed over 20 lives in road collisions in recent years, and led to a number of white crosses being erected along the roadside to remember those fatally injured.

    Minister Ross will also inspect two other major infrastructural projects on the day - the new Western Distributor Road and the Eastern Link Bridge in Sligo Town.

    The three projects involved a total investment of some €220 million.



  • A Galway restauranteur and the CEO of Center Parcs in Longford are among the members of a new Tourism Recovery Taskforce, dedicated to spearheading economic recovery for the tourism sector.

    Minister Shane Ross says tourism is Ireland's largest indigenous employer, and is central to the economic and social health of the nation, while acknowledging that the tourism sector has been near-decimated by the Covid-19 crisis.

    In order to ensure the tourism sector can emerge from this pandemic, ready for business, Minister Ross has announced the formation of a dedicated Tourism Recovery Taskforce, made up of leaders from varying sectors of the industry, who will work together to deal with the challenges ahead.

    The new taskforce will be chaired by Ruth Andrews, CEO of the Irish Tour Operators Association.

    The board also includes Eimear Killian, General Manager of Galway restaurant The Brasserie on the Corner, Martin Dalby, CEO of Center Parcs in Longford and John McLaughlin, CEO of North & West Coast Links Golf.

    Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland and Paul Kelly CEO of Failte Ireland are also on the board, as well as hoteliers and representatives from the tourism and aviation industries.

    The new Taskforce, who are giving their services voluntarily, will prepare a Tourism Recovery Plan, setting out recommendations on how best the Irish tourism sector can adapt and recover in the changed tourism environment as a result of Covid-19.

    The plan will identify priority aims and opportunities for the sector for the next 3 years.





    Plans for tougher penalties for speeding offences are facing a backlash.

    A growing number of TDs in Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have expressed their concern over the proposals.


    Transport Minister Shane Ross is looking to introduce a number of new measures aimed at cracking down on motorists breaking the speed limit.

    Under the plans a graded penalty point system for those exceeding the limit is being considered while it has also been suggested that motorists who couldn't produce a driver's licence to Gardai could also face penalty points.

    Since the plans became public there has been growing anger within both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail over the proposals.

    The Irish Independent reports TDs in both parties hitting out at the moves which they label 'draconian' and an example of a 'nanny state'.

    The paper reports the move to hit drivers who don't produce their licence with penalty points has been dropped , while the government insists the plans have a long way to go before they can be enacted.


  • New penalties for speeding could be dramatically reduced after an intervention by Fine Gael Cabinet ministers.

    Transport Minister Shane Ross has committed to reviewing his proposed speeding laws after he clashed with Fine Gael ministers.

    A Cabinet sub-committee will now review the strict penalty point regime for speeding, which could see motorists receive severe penalties based on how fast they are travelling beyond the speed limit.

    It's understood every Fine Gael minister from rural Ireland raised concerns with elements of the new speeding laws at Cabinet, while Mayo-based Rural Affairs Minister Michael Ring was reportedly the most vocal.

    Minister Ross intends to introduce speeding penalties based on how much over the limit a motorist is driving, and he also wants automatic fines for not carrying a driving licence.


    The Irish Independent says sources described the mood within Fine Gael over the clampdown as "close to revolt".

    Ultimately, Minister Ross proposed having a Cabinet sub-committee examine the proposed changes, before he moves on to the next stage of the legislative process.






  • The Transport Minister has launched a scathing attack on what he calls 'the lunatic fringe' in Leinster House opposed to tougher drink drive laws.

    Shane Ross has suggested any government Ministers who criticised the enforcement of the laws were 'unfit for office'

    Transport Minister Shane Ross is today responding to intense criticism from some rural TDs over tougher new drink drive laws.

    In particular some have raised the issue of an increase in the number of driver breathalyser tests being carried out in the morning across the country.

    Over the New Year period 43 people were arrested between the hours of 9 am and noon on suspicion of drink driving, out of a total of 445 people.

    Writing in today's Sunday Independent, Minister Ross slammed TDs who criticised the new drink driving laws, referring to the lunatic fringe in Leinster House.

    He also told the paper that any government Minister's who criticised the enforcement of the laws were unfit for office. 



  • Ireland West Airport Knock has been allocated more than 2 million euro in exchequer grants under Minister Shane Ross department’s -  Regional Airports Programme .

    The 2.3 million euro grant will go towards capital investments in the areas of safety and security at the airport.

    Minister Michael Ring  made today’s announcement and said that there is a continuing commitment by the Government in Project Ireland 2040 to support safety and security related projects at the smaller regional airports under the Regional Airports Programme.

    It’s been a good number of days for the airport, with 1500 participants on Saturday evening in the annual 5k airport runway run, raising in excess of 20,000 euro for three chosen charities.

    Joe Gilmore, CEO of Ireland West Airport Knock told Midwest News this morning how the 2.3 million euro government grant will be spent at the facility. The first major job is the overlay of the runway, in place for more than three decades now.

    Work will get underway shortly.