Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Ulster Canal; an investment for the whole island." - Lynch

Published: 3 February, 2015

Sinn Fein MLA Sean Lynch has called on the Irish government to provide the appropriate funding in order for the first phase of construction of the restoration of the Ulster Canal to begin.

In reply to a question submitted to the Minister for Culture, Arts & Leisure, Mr Lynch said,

"The Minister assured me that the restoration of the Ulster Canal is a standing item on the agenda of the ministerial Council meeting in waterways sectoral format; the Council constantly receives progress reports on the restoration work to the Clones to Upper Lough Erne section of the Ulster canal.

"At this stage, it is noted that Cavan County Council, Clones Town council and Monaghan County Council have granted planning permission, and approval has been granted by DOE's Planning Service here in the North. The sponsor Departments are reviewing and updating the business case for the restoration of the canal, in light of the change of financial environments, particularly in the South.

"Waterways Ireland has developed a draft programme of work which takes into account the likes of planning, environmental impact, land acquisition and the tender and letting of a contract for construction.

The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA continues,

"Despite the fact that it is the Irish Governments responsibility to start the first phase of construction, the appropriate finance has not been received. All the work that needs to be carried out in anticipation of that funding being released is well under way, and good progress has been made.

"I therefore call on the Irish Government to provide the agreed finances to support the continuation of the restoration project. This scheme is without a doubt an investment and one that the whole island will be reaping the benefits of for years to come." ENDS