Declan Breathnach TD
Louth (and East Meath)

18th December 2019

 

Breathnach raises Narrow Water Bridge with Minister for Transport in Dáil

 

-The Narrow Water Bridge was first proposed in 2008 –
Louth TD and Fianna Fáíl Spokesperson on Cross border co-operation Declan Breathnach raised the issue of the Narrow Water Bridge with Minister for Transport Shane Ross in the Dáíl.

 

The Narrow Water Bridge was first proposed in 2008. Three years later, Leo Varadkar as the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport said “the Department is not in a position to proceed any further with the Narrow Water Bridge project, and beyond 2011 no further funding will be made available for it.”

 

The Special European Union Programmes Body (SEUPB) had pledged million €17.4 million euro towards the Narrow Water project. However, it withdrew this offer in 2013 because additional funding of €6m from the Department of Transport had not been provided.

 

Planning permission on the Northern Ireland side of the project was due to lapse in October 2017 but Louth County Council, the project’s applicant, sent workers to the site to conduct works to preserve permissions. Louth County Council confirmed to Deputy Breathnach that the planning permission for the project in the North was retained and that planning permission in the Republic will not expire. The Council confirmed they have spent over €2.2 million on the project to date and said what was needed to progress the project was “a substantial Funding stream and full co-operation from Road Services Northern Ireland and from Newry, Mourne and Down Council.”

This project was to be put on the agenda of the North-South Ministerial Council but this has not met since the collapse of Northern Ireland Executive in January 2017. Breathnach argued the re-establishment of Stormont and the North South Ministerial Council is “vital for cross-border co-operation on project such as the Narrow Water Bridge.”

Breathnach commented “Boris Johnson and other politicians are talking about building a bridge between the North of Ireland and Scotland. This Larne to Stranraer bridge would be 20 miles long and cost billions. It’s madness to think of this when the bridge from Omeath in Louth to Narrow Water in Down would be 660 metres long and was to cost only €6 million to the state. It’s hugely disappointing this project has not been supported from the Irish Government. With EU support, co-operation on both sides of the border and between the Irish and British Governments there’s no reason why this project can’t go ahead. It would be hugely beneficial to Tourism in the region and increased co-operation between the two border communities.”
-Ends-

Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2 (Declan – 087 2697638)
(T) 01 6183549 (Email) declan.breathnach@oireachtas.ie