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 Post subject: More Press
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 9:39 am 
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Location: Warrenpoint
http://www.independent.ie/regionals/argus/news/lough-area-is-still-under-performing-34701410.html

Should the link not work the article reads:

Quote:
The Narrow Water Bridge project is expected to be on the agenda at next month's North-South Ministerial Council meeting. In a letter published in the Irish News, Mr Boylan said the sustaining argument for the bridge 'is and always has been based simply on the premise that it will provide a much-needed boost to the development of tourism throughout the south Down and Armagh, and north Louth areas'.
He said: 'It is tempting to ponder today, almost 20 years since the Good Friday Agreement, what those pioneers of progress would make of today's attempts to provide this critical piece of infrastructure for the people of the Carlingford Lough area.

'If they were to return from their well-earned eternal slumber, the catastrophic failure to deliver the project in 2013, despite approval from both governments and substantial funding from the EU, would be too painful to mention'.
And he also referenced an idea mooted last month by former Louth County Council director, Michael Curran, that the bridge could be conjoined with the Southern Relief Road route proposed for Newry, welcoming 'all contributions to the debate'.

But, he wrote, 'while a laudable attempt to square the circle of strategic traffic management and essential tourist infrastructure, to proceed with such an option without the most thorough review, could be highly damaging.
'This is particularly critical in an area, which comprises an extensive Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with vast areas of conservation and special protection in and around the lough on the Louth side.

'Despite its obvious natural capital and location the Carlingford Lough area continues to under perform in tourist terms. Investment in the area is sporadic as evidenced by hotels in spectacular locations lying derelict for decades.
'This miserable litany of disinterest has been recently added to with the recent closure of a landmark restaurant and licensed premises after more than a century of business in Warrenpoint.

'The NWB is a stand-alone project, which, in stark contrast to any Southern Relief Road option, is shovel-ready and could mark the end this cycle of mediocrity and allow us to move on significantly from a lingering post-Troubles twilight zone mentality. It will create a natural inter-connector for the scenic areas and will open up a world of sustainable tourist development from Downpatrick to the Boyne. There is a critically untapped market for new and interesting walking and cycling destinations.
'What a fitting monument to those who spoke for peace, partnership and prosperity in darker times'.


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