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McElduff welcomes presentation on re-opening of Ulster Canal

24 April, 2008

The Chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Culture, Arts and Leisure, Sinn Féin's Barry McElduff MLA(West Tyrone) has welcomed the presentation made to the committee by the Blackwater Regional Partnership on the potential benefits of re-opening the Ulster Canal.

Barry McElduff said:

"I was most impressed by the presentation by the Blackwater Regional Partnership and recognise the potential, initially for employment in the construction of the project but also the long term benefits through tourism and ancillary services for the economies of the local communities along the route of the canal.

"The Dublin government has already committed significant money to the re-opening part of the Canal. I believe that we now have an excellent case for the opening up of the whole canal,

"This project would then act as a catalyst for the regeneration of towns and villages in counties, Armagh, Monaghan and Tyrone.

"I will be urging the Minister, Edwin Poots to join with his Dublin counterpart to ensure that this project receives the political and economic support from government and other funding bodies that it deserves.

Sinn Féin Monaghan County Councillor, Seán Conlon, a member of the Blackwater Regional Partnership, thanked the Committee for giving them the opportunity to make the presentation.

Councillor Conlon said:

"I welcome the opportunity afforded the BRP to present the case for this project which would advance an integrated rural development strategy and encourage cross-border co-operation between Councils in Armagh, Monaghan and Tyrone.

"It would act as a key delivery mechanism of community building and support initiatives in areas such as tourism, outdoor pursuits and local regeneration projects. I look forward to working with the other Councils, the Assembly and the Irish government to ensure that this project is progressed." ENDS

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