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Doherty welcomes commitment from Northern Minister on North West railway

21 May, 2008


Donegal Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty has welcomed an announcement from the Minister for Regional Development in the Northern Assembly Conor Murphy that his Department is to undertake a study to consider the long term social, physical and economic redevelopment of the railway throughout the North West and that he has instructed senior officials from his Department to meet with officials in the Donegal County Council in relation to a rail link between Derry, Donegal and Sligo.

Speaking today Senator Doherty said, "As Sinn Féin's Transport Spokesperson I have been meeting with my party colleague, Minister for Regional Development in the Northern Assembly Conor Murphy, on this issue and I welcome today's announcement from him that his Department is to undertake a study to consider the long term social, physical and economic redevelopment of the railway throughout the North West. I am also encouraged to be informed by him that he has instructed senior officials from his Department to meet with officials in the Donegal County Council in relation to a rail link between Derry, Donegal and Sligo.

"Sinn Féin has been making the case for the redevelopment of the railway through the North West for a long time now. We raised this issue with both the Irish and British Governments during the peace negotiations at St. Andrews and brought the case to the EU transport commissioner. Just recently my colleague on Donegal County Council Pádraig Mac Lochlainn proposed a motion calling for the appointment of a dedicated council officer to promote the development of a rail network linking Derry to Letterkenny and Sligo and the establishment of a cross border implementation committee that will ensure that the campaign for a rail network in Donegal will be based on a united, council led and all party approach.

"This commitment from Minister Conor Murphy shows that the campaign for a rail network in the North West and in Donegal in particular is well and truly moving forward with pace.

"However it is now imperative that the Government here in the Twenty-Six Counties weighs in on this project with a sound commitment to the delivery of a rail network in the North West." ENDS

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