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Time for Governments to deliver on Ulster Canal - Ó Caoláin

30 August, 2006


Sinn Féin’s Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has called on the two Governments to give a firm commitment to the earliest possible commencement of works on the restoration of the Ulster Canal. Deputy Ó Caoláin was speaking after attending the launch in Belfast today of a Socio-economic study of the Ulster Canal, commissioned by the Blackwater Regional Partnership. Describing the proposal as a ‘flagship cross-border project’, he went on to welcome the all-party support for the development, which he believes is economically crucial for the border region.

 

The Cavan-Monaghan TD said: “The launch today in the Assembly Buildings in Stormont of the Socio-economic Study of the Ulster Canal, commissioned by the Blackwater Regional Partnership, is an important step in the development of what must be considered a flagship cross-border project emanating out of the Good Friday Agreement.

 

“The long-term objective of the restoration of the Ulster Canal is to link the Shannon to Lough Neagh through the Erne waterway. It would be difficult to understate the potential this has for inland waterway tourism and stimulating cross-border economic activity. The analysis published today shows that the areas along the canal route are experiencing substantial levels of disadvantage and such economic decline is likely to continue without a major investment such as this.

 

“I am especially delighted to note that the hosting of the launch in Belfast today was a genuine all-party effort with my colleague Pat O’Rawe MLA, being joined by Jeffrey Donaldson MP MLA of the DUP. This is proof, were it needed, that there is unanimity across the Six Counties in support of this project, an already established fact south of the border.

 

“The restoration of the Ulster Canal has been a topic for discussion, analysis and study for several years, but it is now the urgent responsibility of the respective ministers north and south to give a firm commitment to the earliest possible commencement of works.”

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