The development of further deep sea facilities at Lough Foyle would require ‘minimal invesment’ from Dublin but would be a ‘logical’ step given its cross-border location.
That’s the view of Tallaght-based Sinn Féin T.D. Seán Crowe, who has also called for the expedition of the A5 road project to allow businesses in Derry and Donegal more easily get their goods to market.
He said: “Members of the Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement recently visited Derry and met representatives of the North West Strategic Growth Partnership who impressed upon us the significance of the A5 in terms of getting goods to market.
“Under the GFA, the importance of fast-tracking that proposal was agreed. It would be logical to develop Derry port at Lisahally, which straddles the border, to open the area further to tourism.
“We met representatives of the port authority who promoted the development of a deep sea port there. That would involve minimal investment.”
Foyle Port, of course, already offers deep water facilities. Its operator, the Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners says it can handle vessels up to 65,000DWT and a maximum length overall of 215metres.
But Deputy Crowe said Dublin should help contribute to its future development.
“We are told that there is significant goodwill towards Ireland, the peace process and the ongoing development of links between North and South.
"Those projects are examples of issues that could and should be progressed but are not being mentioned anywhere. The national development plan does not contain such projects. It stops at the Border,” he said.