Fianna Fáil Senator Mary White is hopeful Stormont Minster for Finance Sammy Wilson will reconsider his rigid position on the Narrow Water Bridge scheme at Carlingford Lough and ‘Green Light’ final funding from the Stormont Executive.
Seanad Spokesperson for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Senator White commented: “It is clear that communities on both sides of Carlingford Lough are excited about the golden opportunities the Narrow Water Bridge could bring in boosting the local economy, job creation and tourism in the strikingly beautiful Cooley peninsula and Mourne Mountains.
“However the proposed €18million cross-border infrastructure project has hit a road block as Stormont Minister for Finance, Sammy Wilson is withholding approval for final funding from the Stormont executive to the tune of €3.36million.”
“There is significant time constraints involved with availability of funding and I hope Stormont Minister for Finance, Sammy Wilson reconsiders his rigid position in the spirit of positive community relations and will ensure the bridge is built as soon as possible.”
“Stormont Environment Minister Alex Attwood, granted planning permission for the Narrow Water Bridge scheme after Louth County Council made the application, but Minister Wilson still holds the key to the project, which cannot go ahead without his authority.”
Senator White continued, “On April 10th, North, South, East and West marked the 15th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. One of the key underlying themes of the Good Friday Agreement was to socially and physically build bridges between divided communities on our island.”
“There is no project more symbolic of this objective of the Good Friday Agreement than the proposed Narrow Water Bridge over Carlingford Lough linking North Louth and South Down.”
“Former Irish President Mary McAleese who used ‘building bridges’ as her election campaign slogan, lived in Rostrevor on the Northern shore of Carlingford Lough and during her term made a significant contribution to the peace process.
“The Narrow Water Bridge over Carlingford Lough could serve as a fitting tribute to her Trojan work in engaging with communities in Ireland, including loyalist communities,” concluded Senator Mary White.