A LOUTH Fine Gael delegation led by Senator Jim DArcy met with the Taoiseach at Leinster House last week to raise ongoing concerns about the future of the Narrow Water Bridge project.
The delegation, which included Cllr. Martin Murnaghan and Cllr. Linus English, heard from Enda Kenny that he had already raised the issue on a number of occasions with his counterparts in Northern Ireland and that he would speak to British Prime Minister David Cameron on the matter.
Senator D'Arcy told the Argus: 'The Taoiseach did emphasise that the key decisions now lay with the Northern authorities.'
'But I was very pleased with the response from the Taoiseach. He stated that he fully supported the Narrow Water Bridge as an economic and tourism project for the North Louth and South Down, Cooley and Mourne region.'
Louth County Councillor Martin Murnaghan, who represents the Cooley/North Louth area added: 'I am delighted with the progress that is now being made on the remaining issues, the Bridge over Navigable Waters Order, the responsibility of Northern Transport Minister Danny Kennedy and the Letter of Offer from Minister Sammy Wilson, the Minister for Finance. Minister Kennedy's office is working hard on the bridge order and I expect it to be advertised shortly. Then the Letter of Offer can be addressed.'
There was further good news when Minister Leo Varadkar informed them that the North/South Ministerial Council Transport Meeting had discussed the bridge and noted the timeline for drawdown of European Funding. Ministers further noted that the project had obtained planning permission and Marine Licence and looked forward to its assessment process being completed as soon as practicable.
'The Communique from Ministers Kennedy and Varadkar is certainly positive and it is my belief that we are on the cusp of achieving former Cllr. Tommy Elmores dream, the construction of the Narrow Water Bridge.' stated Cllr. Murnaghan.
Senator Jim D'Arcy added: 'Everyone involved agrees that this statement is very significant , stated Senator DArcy. This is a very important infrastructural project for the region in terms of jobs, investment and tourism potential and it is great to see it going in the right direction.'