Dáil debates

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Cross-Border Projects

7:25 pm

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

There appear to be further delays with the proposal to get the A5 upgrade going, which is regrettable.

That is beyond the powers of the Oireachtas or any Minister here. A clear message could go out if the Minister ensures the N2 upgrade is progressed as quickly as possible. Monaghan County Council will do a very good job as the project promoter for the planning and design work on behalf of itself and Louth County Council. The message should go out that there will be no delays following full consultation with the local people and local communities. It is extremely important.

I emphasise that the north west and north east have particular challenges due to the fact we have a Border. We will have additional challenges with Brexit because it will have nothing but adverse impacts regardless of what way Britain leaves the European Union, and we sincerely hope it will leave with a good deal for the European Union and Britain. We need to send out a clear message that the Government and the State are fully committed to cross-Border infrastructure and its development.

With regard to what my colleague, Deputy Breathnach, said on the Narrow Water bridge, in my early days in politics I remember when we spoke about restoring the then Ballyconnell-Ballinamore Canal people told us it could not be done. That was back in the early 1990s. It was transformed and the engineering ability was there. It has become the very successful Erne-Shannon Waterway. The political vision was there to do it at that time and that is what we need again.


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