Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has welcomed the news that the first phase of works on the Ulster Canal – from Upper Lough Erne to Castlesaunderson – is expected to be completed in early Summer.

In a reply to Deputy Smith, the Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan also confirmed that a greenway between Smithborough in Co. Monaghan and Middletown in Co. Armagh has received funding.

Deputy Smith said, “I welcome this confirmation from Minister Madigan – this project will provide a boost to the local economy, not only in terms of jobs in the short term, during the construction phase, but also from a tourism point of view, once the works are completed.

“We have all seen the success of the greenways in Westport and Waterford, and hopefully we will be able to replicate those achievements here in Monaghan, when the 22km greenway along the Ulster Canal is completed.

“Almost €5m in funding has been secured for this part of the project, which will see Waterways Ireland, in partnership with Monaghan County Council, Armagh City, Banbridge, Craigavon Borough Council and the Eastern Border Region Ltd. Develop the greenway.

“I have been working closely with the Ballybay/Clones Municipal District to progress this project and this latest response from Minister Madigan is welcome.  The restoration of the Ulster Canal is an extremely important project, which has the ability to unlock untold potential in this region.  I, along with my colleagues at local and national level will be continuing to work together to ensure that the project is progressed”.