Seanad debates

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

3:00 am

Photo of Jimmy HarteJimmy Harte (Labour)

The news today in the north west is that the UK Government, through the Northern Ireland Assembly Minister for Finance and Personnel, Sammy Wilson, has allocated £330 million towards the upgrade of the A5 route from Aughnacloy, via Strabane, to Derry. It follows on the news that the Irish Government does not have the funds to complete the project. Several months ago I raised the issue of commencing roads with funding from Northern Ireland but I was shouted down by members who are not present today. They insisted that it could only be done jointly by both Governments, North and South. I congratulate Sammy Wilson on making that allocation today. I also made the point that the major issue was to get the road started because once it was started, it would then be completed. The news today is what and other proposed before Christmas, that is, to get the road started and get funding of £330 million.

I ask the Leader to arrange for the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport to come to the House to explain why the UK Government can spend £330 million but the Irish Government is found wanting. I would urge us to find a way to complete the road because it is important to the economy of the north west and for the delivery of services.


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