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Sinn Féin to launch major campaign for North West/Border Counties Motorway

2 May, 2006


Sinn Féin elected representatives from Tyrone, Donegal, Derry, Monaghan, Louth and Meath will come together on Monday (8th May) at the launch a major party campaign to secure a motorway for the N13/A5/N2 route to Dublin.  Sinn Féin say that the Motorway is essential for the socio-economic regeneration of the north west and border counties and to ensure that the region is not left behind as transport infrastructure improvements continue apace in all other regions of the country.

The launch which will be held at 1pm at Kelly's Inn, Garvaghy (on the main Omagh to Ballygawley Road) and will be addressed by West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty, Donegal County Councillor Pearse Doherty, The Mayor of Derry, Lynn Fleming and Cavan/Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.

Speaking before the Monday's launch local MP Pat Doherty said,

"Sinn Féin's demand for the development of a motorway linking the north west and border counties with Dublin is not based on wishful thinking but grounded in the reality that without this basic infrastructure foundation the region will fall further and further behind other regions of Ireland in terms of socio-economic regeneration and development.

"The northwest and border counties are the most economically disadvantaged areas of Ireland having suffered the double whammy of partition on top of the peripheral status that has been our lot in common with communities along the western seaboard.

"This disadvantage manifests itself in many ways not least in having the worst transport infrastructure of any region in the country.  Key to overcoming this transport infrastructure deficit is the securing of motorway
status for the N13, A5, N2 main arterial route between the northwest, through the border counties, and onto Dublin.  The route in question transects counties Donegal, Derry, Tyrone, Monaghan, Louth and Meath. The official description of this route as a strategic transport corridor is a misnomer given that the vast majority of the route is completely substandard and unable to cope with the reality of today's transport demands.

"Long journeys on substandard roads drive up transport costs for business and industry with the northwest and border counties becoming increasingly less competitive in economic terms especially while other regions of Ireland undergo major transport infrastructure improvements.

"While the Regional Development Strategy in the six counties and the National Spatial Strategy in the 26 Counties purport to be committed to Balanced Regional Development, the continued failure to adopt a truly
integrated approach to transport infrastructure planning and development on this island is the key impediment to the north west and border counties securing essential transport infrastructure development.

"In terms of motorways, existing infrastructure and future network development plans once again by-pass the northwest and border counties further compounding the competitive disadvantage and peripherality of the region.

"Balanced Regional Development is critical to the performance of the economy nationally and a core objective of EU structural funding is to ensure that resources are targeted at regions of greatest disadvantage in an effort to secure this outcome.

"However, in Ireland it is the northwest and border counties, the areas of greatest infrastructure and economic need that have benefited least from this EU structural funding.

"The northwest and border counties cannot be the only region of Ireland left without a motorway.  The economic implications of such a scenario would be devastating.  Just as there is a need to redress the absence of a rail network and responsive public transportation system to service the northwest
and border counties a motorway linking all the main centres of urban population is an essential infrastructural pre-requisite to equitable socio-economic development on the island.

"Sinn Féin is committed to an Ireland of Equals and no region can be left behind and disadvantaged in this way.

"Sinn Féin is uniquely placed to work strategically on this issue, by virtue of being the only party with elected representatives in all forums - Leinster House, The Assembly, Europe and the range of County and town
councils from Dublin to Donegal and Derry. It is on this basis that the SF campaign will see high-level party delegations taking the case for this essential infrastructural pre-requisite to all these forums including seeking to secure the support of each council along the route.  ENDS
Sinn Féin elected representatives from Tyrone, Donegal, Derry, Monaghan, Louth and Meath will come together on Monday (8th May) at the launch a major party campaign to secure a motorway for the N14/A5/N2 route to Dublin.  Sinn Féin say that the Motorway is essential for the socio-economic regeneration of the north west and border counties and to ensure that the region is not left behind as transport infrastructure improvements continue apace in all other regions of the country.

The launch which will be held at 1pm at Kelly's Inn, Garvaghy (on the main Omagh to Ballygawley Road) and will be addressed by West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty, Donegal County Councillor Pearse Doherty, The Mayor of Derry, Lynn Fleming and Cavan/Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.

Speaking before the Monday's launch local MP Pat Doherty said,

"Sinn Féin's demand for the development of a motorway linking the north west and border counties with Dublin is not based on wishful thinking but grounded in the reality that without this basic infrastructure foundation the region will fall further and further behind other regions of Ireland in terms of socio-economic regeneration and development.

"The northwest and border counties are the most economically disadvantaged areas of Ireland having suffered the double whammy of partition on top of the peripheral status that has been our lot in common with communities along the western seaboard.

"This disadvantage manifests itself in many ways not least in having the worst transport infrastructure of any region in the country.  Key to overcoming this transport infrastructure deficit is the securing of motorway status for the N14, A5, N2 main arterial route between the northwest, through the border counties, and onto Dublin.  The route in question transects counties Donegal, Derry, Tyrone, Monaghan, Louth and Meath. The official description of this route as a strategic transport corridor is a misnomer given that the vast majority of the route is completely substandard and unable to cope with the reality of today's transport demands.

"Long journeys on substandard roads drive up transport costs for business and industry with the northwest and border counties becoming increasingly less competitive in economic terms especially while other regions of Ireland undergo major transport infrastructure improvements.

"While the Regional Development Strategy in the six counties and the National Spatial Strategy in the 26 Counties purport to be committed to Balanced Regional Development, the continued failure to adopt a truly integrated approach to transport infrastructure planning and development on this island is the key impediment to the north west and border counties securing essential transport infrastructure development.

"In terms of motorways, existing infrastructure and future network development plans once again by-pass the northwest and border counties further compounding the competitive disadvantage and peripherality of the region.

"Balanced Regional Development is critical to the performance of the economy nationally and a core objective of EU structural funding is to ensure that resources are targeted at regions of greatest disadvantage in an effort to secure this outcome.

"However, in Ireland it is the northwest and border counties, the areas of greatest infrastructure and economic need that have benefited least from this EU structural funding.

"The northwest and border counties cannot be the only region of Ireland left without a motorway.  The economic implications of such a scenario would be devastating.  Just as there is a need to redress the absence of a rail network and responsive public transportation system to service the northwest and border counties a motorway linking all the main centres of urban population is an essential infrastructural pre-requisite to equitable socio-economic development on the island.

"Sinn Féin is committed to an Ireland of Equals and no region can be left behind and disadvantaged in this way.

"Sinn Féin is uniquely placed to work strategically on this issue, by virtue of being the only party with elected representatives in all forums - Leinster House, The Assembly, Europe and the range of County and town councils from Dublin to Donegal and Derry. It is on this basis that the Sinn Féin campaign will see high-level party delegations taking the case for this essential infrastructural pre-requisite to all these forums including seeking to secure the support of each council along the route.  ENDS

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