September 17, 2021
“Government must explore all funding sources to accelerate completion of Ulster Canal Project” – Chris MacManus MEP

“Government must explore all funding sources to accelerate completion of Ulster Canal Project” – Chris MacManus MEP

Sinn Féin MEP calls for speedy refurbishment of Ulster Canal Development following EU vote on Inland Waterway Transport

Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands Northwest, Chris MacManus, has called on the Irish Government to explore all funding opportunities for the refurbishment and development of the Ulster Canal.

Speaking after a European Parliament vote titled, Towards Future-proof Inland Waterway Transport (IWT) in Europe, MacManus highlighted the potential for the Ulster Canal with regards to waterway mobility.

MacManus Said:

“The European Parliament vote on Inland Waterway Transport highlighted the many benefits of investing in inland waterways and canals. The Ulster Canal, which stretches across counties Monaghan, Cavan, Armagh, Tyrone and Fermanagh is a prime example of a canal with huge potential.

“The Ulster Canal not only has the potential to be a great resource for the communities it links, but also a fantastic attraction for visitors as we look for opportunities to promote and invest in sustainable tourism. The completion of the Ulster Canal project should be an urgent priority now. Every avenue should be explored in securing the final funds to help accelerate the project.”

“The European Parliament report which we voted on this week underlined the significant potential in refurbishing connecting waterways and canals, especially in regions that have suffered from decades of insufficient investment in inland waterway infrastructure. Therefore, I would call on the Irish government to explore all funding opportunities, both national and EU, to invest in the refurbishment and development of the Ulster Canal.”

Meanwhile Monaghan Sinn Féin Councillor, Pat Treanor, who has highlighted the benefits of a re-opened Ulster Canal for years, has also welcomed this report and has called on the Irish Government and the Northern Assembly to work together and deliver this vital all Ireland infrastructure.

“I want to welcome this supporting European Parliament report. Waterways Ireland received funding of €12 Million earlier this year and are proceeding with developing the Ulster Canal Marina at Clones, and preparing plans to bring the canal from Castlesaunderson’s to Clones. They expect to have that work complete by December 2023, but require a further €90 Million to implement those plans. This report must encourage both Governments to refocus on the bigger vision of re-opening the Ulster Canal to Lough Neagh. This border community, neglected by decades of insufficient investment deserves nothing less.”  ENDS

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