Tuesday 22 August 2017 09:35:22 PM

Revival of Support for Narrow Water Bridge
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HAVING been swept aside due to a lack of finance, plans to construct the Narrow Water Bridge have been rekindled by a number of political representatives from South Down, writes Kathleen Rice…

The Bridge which would link North Louth with South Down and open up a much needed economic trade route, has been riddled with false dawns in the last number of months.

However, SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie and her political counterpart Sinn Féin MLA Caitriona Ruane have separately called to revive the multi-million Euro project.

Ms Ritchie called for appropriate funding of the project. She said: “The Narrow Water Bridge would be a very important asset for South Down.

Not only would it mark a symbolic linking of North and South, but moreover it would be a vital conduit for people travelling up from North Louth on business or for tourism.

Tourism is the key economic driver for South Down and the Narrow Water Bridge will prove an essential component for improving transport communications to and from St Patrick’s Country.

I am confident of meeting the same strong support in Omeath as I did in Warrenpoint, and I am delighted to be working alongside local representatives in Louth and strengthening the political as well as economic ties between our two counties.”

 Meanwhile, Ms Ruane believed support for a petition shows support for the new bridge. She said: “The amount of people who signed a petition last week highlights how much public opinion is in favour of the Narrow Water Bridge being completed.

Last week we had a great response in Warrenpoint to a petition calling on the Special European Union Programmes Body (SEUPB) to review its decision on not allowing the Narrow Water Bridge to proceed to the second stage of Interreg funding.

 We had a similar response to the petition in Carlingford and Omeath and it shows the depth of feeling right across South Down and Louth in favour of this bridge.

 As in the North there was again cross party support for the initiative and I believe the momentum being gathered will make it very hard for the SEUPB not to review its position.

People power in South Down and Louth is behind the local councils and Chamber of Commerce’s in demanding this area is not left behind in infrastructure development that can be the catalyst for economic regeneration.”