Almost €5.6M for Ulster Canal

Over €5.57M has been allocated to complete the second phase of the Ulster Canal restoration project.

Minister Heather Humphreys confirmed the funding early this morning (Wednesday) from the Department of Social Protection and Rural & Community Development.

The latest funding is in addition to the €6m announced by the Government through its Shared Island Fund last December. The cash injection will see the restoration of the Ulster Canal between Clones and Clonfad.

The project involves the construction of a new marina at Clones, alongside access bridges, an amenity area with parking and new paths and walking trails along the canal.

The Shared Island Fund, established by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin, has also provided a further €1m for Phase Three of the project – Clonfad to Castle Saunderson – to undertake the feasibility and pre-construction work, which has now begun.

Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said: “The Ulster Canal is a unique, flagship cross border project, which will bring huge tourism and economic benefits to the region.

“But it will do so much more than that. The Ulster Canal, once re-opened, will represent a permanent symbol of peace and reconciliation on our island – demonstrating the benefits of bringing our communities together.”

Fianna Fáil TD Brendan Smith also welcomed the news.

"The restoration of the Ulster Canal is a major cross border project, which will enhance considerably our tourism product at a local level and assist in job creation.

"This waterway will also be an integral part of our All-Ireland navigable inland waterways network, which is a powerful natural resource and such a key part of our national tourism infrastructure and attraction."

Fianna Fáil's Niamh Smyth is also delighted with the allocation.

“This investment has the potential to vastly enhance the lives of people and communities along the border by creating a new amenity to be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.

“It will also breathe new life back into the area, by stimulating economic activity and opening up new tourism opportunities in the region."

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