The A5 dualling scheme from the border at Aughnacloy to Derry (described as a ‘motorway’ by Sinn Féin) is like a STOP/GO/STOP board for traffic. One minute it’s on, then it’s held up, now it seems to be on again. It’s reported tonight by the Ulster Herald that Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has announced that the Irish government has agreed to review its decision to withdraw a £400million funding pledge for the A5 dual carriageway. Speaking in the Stormont Assembly Mr McGuinness said the development emerged at last week’s North-South Ministerial Council meeting in Armagh.
“We had a very constructive discussion at the NSMC and the Taoiseach gave a clear commitment to seek additional structural funds to restore their contribution to this essential North-South project,” said Mr McGuinness. The Irish government had originally pledged in the region of £400m towards the construction of a new £850m 55-mile dual carriageway between Derry and Aughnacloy, which would link in with Dublin bound traffic via the N2 towards Emyvale and Monaghan. However the funding pledge was withdrawn in November 2011.
Welcoming the announcement, West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty said, “A restoration of the funds from Dublin will reignite this entire project. At the same time, Sinn Féin will continue to engage with the North’s Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy to ensure the legal issues which have delayed the northern end of the project are expedited without delay.”