There is to be an “extensive debate” in the Seanad on the funding of the A5 dual carriageway and the City of Derry Airport.
Donegal Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has secured the debate by the Irish Government after repeatedly requesting that the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross come into the Seanad to hear statements on the need for Irish Government commitment on vital transport spending for Donegal and the North West.
Senator MacLochlainn said this has now been confirmed for three weeks time on Wednesday November 16th.
He added: “I am pleased to have secured this important focus on the funding of the A5 dual carriageway and the City of Derry Airport. There is a huge deficit in transport infrastructure between Donegal and the North West with the rest of this island. It is long documented that there is no motorway, rail or air link from North Donegal, Derry and Tyrone to our capital city and key economic and transport hub, Dublin.
“We need to hear from the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross what he and his Government plan to do to redress this appalling historical neglect. The matching funding committed to the vital A5 project by previous Irish Governments was £400 million sterling. However that commitment has been reduced down to €75 million by this Government. This is no where enough to deliver this project and Minister Ross and the Taoiseach need to understand the serious concerns of the people of Donegal and the North West”.
Senator MacLochlainn said it is also “essential” that Minister Ross “understand the importance of the City of Derry Airport to the development of tourism and our economy in North Donegal as well as Derry and Tyrone.”
He said: “Up to 150,000 Donegal passengers use the airport every year. 40% of the total passenger numbers there. For the last number of years, the Irish Government have not contributed one cent towards the running of the airport and this needs to be sorted out.
Linking the City of Derry Airport to Dublin airport means linking tourists from North America and Europe directly to our region”.