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Sinn Féin call for Waterways Ireland to be given responsibility for Ulster Canal

16 May, 2005

Sinn Féin Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew has called for the amendment of the remit of Waterways Ireland to include responsibility for the Ulster Canal.

Ms Gildernew said:

"Lack of political will is holding up the reopening of the Ulster Canal. What is required is for one body to take forward this initiative in consultation with local communities, councils and business organisations.

"The all-Ireland implementation body Waterways Ireland is the perfect organisation to administer the renaissance of the Ulster Canal.

"The rejuvenation of small towns along the Shannon can be mirrored here if we have the political will to get behind the ever growing number of organisations and committees who see the value of reopening the Ulster Canal.

"A large scale all-Ireland project such as this would be a real boost to the people of Fermanagh, Tyrone, Armagh and Monaghan.

"We have seen that call from Monaghan County Council and the vote on Fermanagh Council supporting the demand to have the remit of Waterways Ireland adjusted to include the Ulster Canal and the setting up of the Ulster Canal Trust last November in Monaghan with the emphasis on making progress on re-opening the canal.

"Here in Fermanagh the Clones-Erne East Partnership will be meeting with the Blackwater Association to build a co-ordinated response on behalf of local communities.

"Anything that economically strengthens communities along the border has to be welcomed. If this project goes ahead there will be real economic and community benefits." ENDS

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