Donegal North East Fianna Fáil TD Charlie McConalogue has said he is deeply disappointment by the uncertainty still surrounding the A5 project following the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) meeting last Friday.
“As a result of the Government’s decision to abandon the commitment to contribute £400 million towards this project between now and 2015, and the totally inadequate offering of £50 million instead, we are now very much dependent on the Northern Executive to allow work to commence on this crucial piece of infrastructure,” said Deputy McConalogue.
“I had hoped that the North South Ministerial Council meeting last week would result in a clear renewed commitment by the Northern Executive to continue to earmark the £400 million in funding for the project and to commit to proceeding with at least one of the three sections of the road next year. Unfortunately, the Council has instead charged civil servants on both sides of the border with plotting a pathway forward over the coming months in advance of the next meeting scheduled for June of next year.
“It is absolutely essential that the two Governments agree on a timeline that will see this project started in the coming year. This requires the use of the full funding from the Northern Executive and a renewed commitment from the Fine Gael/Labour Government on a timeline to fund its half of this project.
“Other parts of the country have received major upgrades in arterial roadway routes throughout the last 10 years. It is now the North West’s turn to get priority for infrastructural development. And yet Fine Gael and Labour have decided to only allocate £50 million of the £17 billion they plan to spend on its capital infrastructure programme 2012-2015.
“Years of work and cooperation have gone into this project since the St Andrew’s Agreement in which the Northern Executive, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Government committed to funding this key infrastructural project for the North West. This was a major achievement and we cannot allow it go to waste.”