Narrow Water Bridge Funding Welcomed
Confirmation of funding to advance the Narrow Water Bridge, which will link Louth and Down counties, has been welcomed by organizations and politicians on both sides of the border.
Funding of 3 million euros for the project was confirmed on Tuesday by the Taoiseach Micheál Martin; the money will come from the Shared Island Fund and will see the project pass the tender stage.
He said the bridge “would act as a key catalyst for improving cross-border travel and active leisure activities, including the development of greenways, walking trails and park facilities”, and was “a real project on the whole island, with a strong cross participation of North and South political support ”.
Nichola Mallon, Minister for Infrastructure for Northern Ireland, said on Twitter: ‘At a time when we feel separated by Brexit, this iconic bridge will be a physical link and a constant reminder of our ties to each other on the island. . “
In Louth, Fine Gael MP Fergus O’Dowd, chairman of the Oireachtas committee on the implementation of the Good Friday deal, said: Border region, north and south. There will also be a huge benefit for active travel and recreation, including greenways, park walkways, etc.
When completed, it will be “an excellent example of cross-border consensus and cooperation, proving that peace and reconciliation really works,” he added.
MP Ruairi O’Murchu (SF) said there could no longer be false dawn on the project. The Dundalk-based TD said: “This is a step forward and will be welcomed by those living in the North Louth and South Down areas. But we need details and timelines on this to make sure it keeps moving forward. ”
Pamela Arthurs, chief executive for the eastern border region, said the bridge was a long-standing project in terms of north-south cooperation, and paid tribute to Louth County Council and its chief executive.
She said: ‘At the end of the day Louth County Council is to be congratulated because they persevered, they spent a lot of their own money and never gave up on the project. Joan Martin, Chief Executive Officer of Louth County Council, has been involved in the project for many years.
The Dundalk Chamber of Commerce said: “This tourism initiative is long overdue and we hope that the tourism boards, north and south of the island, will also increase funding for the region. We have campaigned on this issue for many years, but without the tenacity of those on the front lines it may never have happened. “
Fianna Fáil Senator Erin McGreehan said it was more than a bridge and was “a symbol for the future of Ireland”.
“A symbol to draw a line on the past by respecting it, recognizing this past, but it is also about building bridges, forging relationships and moving on to the next 100 years of the history of this island.”
“The people on either side of Carlingford Lough are so close – culturally, geographically – and yet we have been divided,” she added.
Louth County Council Chairman Cllr Pio Smith (Lab) said: “The eventual construction of the bridge is a no-brainer as the benefits are obvious, namely tourism, connectivity and relationship building.”