Cockhill bridge a “top priority”

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Local Inishowen councillors have pledged their support to the bridge at Cockhill with Culdaff councillor Bernard McGuinness describing it as a top priority for Inishowen.

The Culdaff man said it angers him when there is no mention of the Cockhill Bridge and councillors should agree to put whatever money they get into the road works in Buncrana.

At the recent electoral area meeting in Carndonagh Bridgend councillor John Ryan revealed to the other councillors the National Roads Authority would not be supplying funding for any works carried out at the bridge.

“The NRA have not invested any money into this county in recent years, they will build a first class first highway from Monaghan to Lifford but have nothing more than a dirt track to take you into Letterkenny and Inishowen.

“We have no rail link in this county so our roads are of paramount importance, plans need to be out in place, but they never were, and we need to be aware they are not going to be.”

Colr Ryan along with Buncrana councillor Padraig MacLochlainn attended the recent NRA annual meeting in Dublin where Colr Ryan discovered the Cockhill Bridge was not under NRA authority.

“The NRA will not recognise the bridge as it is not a National Primary Road, therefore funding will not be offered. If we were able to reclassify the road from Buncrana to Bridgend then there may be a possibility of money being allocated, however we really don’t know if this will make a difference.”

Miniscule monies

Colr Ryan told the ‘Journal’ Donegal would be lucky to get a “minuscule” €15 million from the government agency due to funding cuts.

“We requested €23 million to be divided into several projects. €230,000 has already been spent on consultations fees for the Letterkenny to Bonagee relief road, but we need to make sure we get funding for Cockhill.

“I don’t care what pot we take it out of, we are waiting long enough and Buncrana always has to wait longer than Letterkenny ever did.”

Colr MacLochliann also called on the County Manager Seamus Neely to look at the situation as he maintains there is no point in waiting for the Department of Transport as “nothing is guaranteed”

“We need to look and see if there is anything we can do at county level specifically about the Cockhill Bridge,” concluded the Buncrana Mayor.