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Ó hOisín calls for rail link to Ballykelly

4 September, 2012 - by Cathal Ó hOisín

East Derry Sinn Féin MLA, Cathal Ó hOisín welcoming the announcement by Agriculture Minister, Michelle O'Neill MLA that her new Departmental Headquarters will be located in Ballykelly has suggested that DRD Minister, Danny Kennedy should now consider installing a spur link to the village as part of the upgrade to the Derry/Belfast rail line.

Cathal O hOisín said:

"This is welcome news for Ballykelly and the North West in general. But it also opens up other possibilities that would help in regenerating the local economy. One of these possibilities would be for the DRD Minister, Danny Kennedy to give serious consideration to establishing a spur link and rail halt in the village as part of the upgrade to the Derry/Belfast railway line. The railway line already runs through the site and the installation of a spur would not entail a major redesign of the work that is already being undertaken.

"All Parties talk about decentralisation of public service jobs but here we have Minister Michelle O'Neill putting it into effect. I will seek a meeting with Minister Kennedy to put this proposition to him and seek his support in providing easy access to this location by public transport. Such cross departmental cooperation would give a welcome financial injection into the local economy and a boost to community confidence.

"I would encourage other Ministers to take their lead from Michelle O'Neill and follow through on the Programme for Government's committment to tackling regional disparity through decentralisation. This announcement will not just deliver many public service jobs to the area but will create many more ancillary jobs in the service and supply sectors across the North West. It will also secure jobs in the local retail sector through the additional disposable spending power it will bring to the Region."

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