Letter of extension sought from Europe on Narrowater Bridge

The all-Ireland Good Friday Agreement Implementation Committee at the Oireachtas, which includes representatives from the north, met this week and has decided to write to a letter regarding the plight of the Narrowater Bridge.

The Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams has welcomed its decision to write to the SEUPB seeking an extension on its letter of offer on Narrow Water Bridge.

Mr. Adams said:

“The Good Friday Agreement Implementation Committee is an all-party formal committee of the Oireachtas made up uniquely of TD’s, Senators and MP’s from the North.

“The committee has consistently recognised the value and potential of the Narrow Water Bridge to link and enhance the communities on either side of the Border.

“Today the committee unanimously agreed to write to the Special European Union Programmes Body (SEUPB) asking it to extend their offer of support for a number of weeks to allow for further time to put together funding to ensure the bridge project progressed.

“We must redouble all of our efforts to bring this project to a successful conclusion.”

Earlier in the week Ireland East MEP Mairead McGuinness raised the issue of the long planned Narrow Water bridge project linking Counties Louth and Down, in the European Parliament urging all those who support the project not to give up on efforts to see it constructed.

Speaking in a debate on the EU Budget 2014-2020 (MFF) in the European Parliament, McGuinness said it was vital to stress that the EU has not withdrawn funding for the project.

“The EU money is still available but the Special Programmes body (SEUPB) has made the decision to reallocate the money because of the unresolved issue of how all the project funding needs can be met, given the substantial overrun in tenders received,” Ms McGuinness explained.

“It is clear that the project is one which has broad support, planning has been granted and €17.4 million originally allocated to build the bridge from EU funds, however the uncertainty over the costs of construction has derailed the project.

“The SEUPB was concerned that unless the allocated fund was used within the time period, the funding would have to be reallocated.”

“This has come to pass, but the project remains ready and we should fight for its survival”, she added.


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