If Inishowen is to avoid becoming a ‘theme park’ for trippers or a dormitory area for Derry serious economc issues will have to be addressed.

In a briefing document prepared by Brendan Flanagan for the Inishowen Civic Forum the stark realities are laid out: Donegal is the most disadvantaged county in the Republic, and Inishowen is the most disadvantaged area of Donegal.

Pulling no punches Mr. Flanagan says: “Inishowen has surrendered its fisheries, young people and now (wind)energy to Dublin without any return.”

And he commented: “Inishowen is the only area in Ireland of its population and size not linked to a major city by dual-carriageway, motorway or rail. The planned motorway from Dublin to Derry, which would have been the most tangible ‘peace dividend’ to the North west has been delayed while internal public transport is totally inadqueate.”

The Malin based transport expert said the ‘malign nature’ of the economic crisis has become apparent when loss of critical mass in population numbers - clearly evident with the closure here of shops, hotels, utilities etc - makes the area unattractive.”

Speaking yesterday with the Journal Mr Flanagan said it was vital some sort of federation of business, tourism and other interests be established in the peninsula because, he observed, many people were not ‘ immediately conscious of the relative disadvantage silently eroding the very fabric of our society.”

He concluded:“It really is time someone shouted ‘stop’