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 Post subject: Statement 08-01-14
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:07 pm 
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Location: Warrenpoint
Statement 08-01-14


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In recent weeks we read the statements from both Sean Rodgers MLA, SDLP and Catriona Ruane MLA, SF. The Narrow Water Bridge Action Group can only say we enjoyed the obvious whole-hearted support of our member of parliament, our MLAs from all parties across our communities and all of our councillors. Indeed Newry and Mourne District Council, Louth County Council showed real dedication to the project when each committed to borrowings of €2 million and even Down Council committed €500,000 to meet the shortfall in funding.

But where are we now? Everyone knows that we have lost the financial backing of the Special European Union Programmes Body. The communities in the jurisdictions on both sides of Carlingford Lough have lost a 70 bed hotel in Omeath, a 28 bed hotel in Warrenpoint with the employment opportunities they would have provided in both communities. The worst failure of government is the fact that our Executive turned their backs on the local communities in a time of recession.

Our local politicians know the losses that have been incurred in our communities by the loss of the bridge up to 200 jobs in the construction phase but they were all unable to impress the importance of the project at Assembly/Executive level and Dail/ Coalition Government level. Simply the difficulties faced by the Narrow Water Bridge Project is the failure of politics in Northern Ireland and indeed in the Republic of Ireland.

The verbal commitment of Peter Robinson, Martin Magennis, Enda Kenny and Eamonn Gilmore are contained in the press and in the records of debate in the Assembly and the Dail but this commitment did not translate into real and substantive negotiations to make the bridge happen. Where are we now? We know that the SEUPB funding has been withdrawn but we have had no statements from either government that they are walking away from this project.

Since the SEUPB withdrew their funding it should be noted that the Executive has committed about £90 million to two sporting organisations in Belfast and as yet an unspecified sum to another sporting organisation.

But note they are in Belfast. We in the Newry and Mourne Area can’t remember the last time we had any substantial investment in any project (with exception of today's announcement by the Heritage Lottery fund for Warrenpoint Park)

Dare we say that this points to a conclusion that we are tainted as second class citizens in both jurisdictions.


Meetings will continue and we the committee will continue our efforts to see this project through.


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 Post subject: Re: Statement 08-01-14
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:08 pm 
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It is encouraging to note the continued
efforts of all those who gave of their time,
to try and see this Project come to fruition.

The historical lack of investment in the area
continues to be a fact, and once again an
outstanding opportunity to rectify the lack of
such investment has been lost.

It is my contention that, had this been a bridge
over the Lagan in Belfast, it would have had
Ministerial consideration.....and approval.!

The spin off, in financial terms, to the people
of the area would have given a huge boost to
the local economy.

Obviously Stormont has no great desire to see
any improvement in the living standards of the
people, or indeed the Tourism potential of such
a Project.

It is, to many, a source of disappointment that
this opportunity has been allowed to slip into
the sidings.

Nevertheless, a huge vote of thanks is due to
those who fought so hard to achieve their aim. :clapping:


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 Post subject: Re: Statement 08-01-14
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:50 pm 
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Location: Upper Dromore Road
It's awful that is had come to this. They make money available for welcome to Northern Ireland signs instead! I think it was around £9 million!


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