The Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin and Louth TD Seamus Kirk have expressed their frustration following news of the loss of EU funding for the Narrow Water Bridge project and have criticised the failure of Governments north and south to drive the project forward.
Deputy Martin commented, “This is an extremely frustrating day, after the years of work by successive Governments to make this important cross-border project a reality. We secured funding from Europe, we successfully lobbied the North’s Finance Minister to release funding for the project and now the project has collapsed because of the failure of the Governments to close the deal and find the extra monies needed. There is no excuse for this failure.
“Europe has withdrawn its funding because the Government has refused to step up to the plate in time and play its part in making up the shortfall for the project. Not only did the Government refuse to put forward additional funding, it also refused to actively engage with the Northern Executive to find a way forward.
Deputy Martin’s colleague and local TD Seamus Kirk who has lobbied for the project for many years commented, “The net result of this mess is that the Cooley Peninsula will be deprived of a vital infrastructure project that would boost economic growth in the area, create good construction jobs in a region badly hit by the downturn and provide a symbolic link between North and South. We will remember this moment when the Government releases details of its now annual multi million euro capital underspend.”