The Mayor of Buncrana has paid tribute to all those involved in the long campaign to secure the new Cockhill Bridge.
Fianna Fail Councillor Rena Donaghey said the bridge had been badly needed as the current bridge had been the scene of numerous accidents over the years and had been “hit more times that Cassius Clay.”
Colr. Donaghey was speaking as she cut the sod to mark the start of the new project.
“The existing bridge at Cockhill is a masonry structure which has spanned the Crana River for over 200 years,” she said. “The fact that the bridge is still standing today is testament to the quality of the local craftsmen at that time , however it is clear that, that bridge cannot meet the demands of today.
“I was here to witness on many a time, and I said it when I was at Council meetings when talking about Cockhill Bridge, It was hit more times that Cassius Clay.”
She added that local residents and elected members have “long voiced their concerns for public safety” on the bridge, and thanked Deputy McHugh for organising a meeting in April 2015 with the then Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe.
“We put our story to him and he listened very thoroughly. On that day we were offered a footbridge. We knew a footbridge was not the answer for Cockhill. We knew it had to be the full bridge or nothing.
“We felt good on leaving that meeting. Then two months later it was announced the funding was granted for the new bridge and that was a great day for everybody involved.”