19 October 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard


THE importance from an economic viewpoint of the redevelopment of the Old Ulster Canal, especially for the Clones region—and Co. Monaghan generally—was emphasised during last weekend’s North/South Inter-Parliamentary Association meeting in Dublin.
Fine Gael representative and Louth Senator, Terry Brennan led a public welcome for plans to redevelop the waterway, saying he hoped to see the long awaited link-up of an All Ireland inland waterway network in the immediate future.
Senator Brennan re-echoed views already expressed at other forum—both locally and nationally—by his Fine Gael local authority party colleague and Mayor of Co. Monaghan, Cllr. Hugh McElvaney in relation to the importance of an improved infrastructure to attract more investment and tourism for the benefit of the whole Border region .
Mayor McElvaney had previously stated that no opportunity should be lost in ensuring that maximum effort is made, at every level, to achieve a boost for trade and tourism in the wider Monaghan/Clones/Fermanagh areas.
Yesterday, the Monaghan County Mayor, Cllr. McElvaney said he was delighted to see the issue of the restoration of the Ulster Canal had now received the attention of this particular North-South inter-parliamentary group.“It is an excellent project for which there is strong support among all communities and it will have positive economic benefits for all our people, both here and in Northern Ireland”.
Commending Senator Brennan for highlighting the matter at the top cross-border forum, Cllr. McElvaney said he hoped that, despite the stringent financial climate which has caused difficulties in the progress of many commendable projects, the Ulster Canal project will still be moved forward, as speedily as is possible.
He added that he was also pleased that other local cross-party public representatives in North Monaghan were equally fully supportive of the project.
Senator Brennan told the representative attendance of parliamentarians from North and South of the border that such a link-up, which the Ulster Canal offered, could be a great tourist attraction, and lead to many tourists visiting parts of the island they might not see now.
He said: “For more than 20 years, people on both sides of the border have been trying to get a properly connected, All-Ireland inland waterways system.
“This island is already attracting anglers, hikers, and other devotees of outdoor pursuits, on a whole island basis. The Stormont Government’s initiative in redeveloping the Ulster Canal will hopefully be matched in the Republic in the very near future.”
Senator Brennan also told the assembly of Dail deputies, Senators, and MLAs from the Northern Assembly, that “a link-up of Ireland’s inland waterway network is a great tourism opportunity for the island—and we must do everything we can, to make it happen.”

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