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Newry area missing out on benefits Project Kelvin – Sinn Féin

6 July, 2009

Sinn Féin MP for Newry/Armagh Conor Murphy has said that the people of Newry are missing out on the benefits of the transatlantic submarine communications network, Project Kelvin which recently arrived in Portrush and will be housed in Derry.

Project Kelvin is a cross border project linking the Northwest of Ireland to the transatlantic submarine communications network, which is linked to North America. The project’s function is to reduce the time it takes to exchange data with North America, making the cost of international communications the same as Dublin and major cities in Britain.

However, while the initiative will connect 14 towns in Ireland to the high-speed channel and while the cable runs along the Northeast coast of Ireland on its way to Dublin – Newry will not benefit from the project.

Mr Murphy has said,

“While I welcome the fact that Armagh will be linked to the project I am disappointed that Newry will miss out. The economy in Newry has been hit badly recently with 300 jobs lost from Teleperformance, it is crucial that we now attract modern businesses and companies to the area in order to create employment.

“Newry’s participation in Project Kelvin would allow the area to attract large knowledge-based companies to the area, and would facilitate the promotion of Newry as a business centre on the main route between the two largest cities on this island. This area would subsequently benefit from greater transport and communication infrastructure.

Mr Murphy concluded by stating that he raised the issue as at today’s North-South Ministerial Council meeting,

“I raised the issue as a matter of priority at today’s meeting, I will again raise it at the next North-South Ministerial Council meeting on Wednesday as the Northern Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Invest and the Tanaiste will be present."

His party colleague and Deputy Mayor of Newry, Charlie Casey, said that he will ask for Newry and Mourne District Council to support Mr. Murphy’s call at tonight’s sitting of the Council.

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