Funding was announced this week for the next phase of bringing the project from
Castlesaunderson to Clones.
A total of €13 million has been allocated to the restoration project so far, with the
latest €5.6 million announced on Wednesday.
Phase Two will see the Ulster Canal brought from Clonfad to Clones, and a marina built beside the Canal Stores building.
John McDonagh, Chief Executive of Waterways Ireland told The Wider View that his organisation has only been tasked with this 13km stretch, and works north of Clones could only begin if the North South Ministerial Council gives the green light.
Infrastructure Minister in Northern Ireland, Nichola Mallon and Ministers Darragh O'Brien and Malcolm Noonan from the Department of Local Government and Heritage are among those who attended the most recent North South Ministerial Council Inland Waterways meetings.
In response to a query on the extension of Waterways Ireland's remit to work on a northern section of the canal, a Department of Infrastructure spokesperson said 'The potential of any
further extension to the restoration of the Ulster Canal may be considered at
future meetings including 'identification of costs and funding sources."
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Ministers O'Brien and Noonan said
the two Sponsor Departments and Waterways Ireland are continuing to work on plans to realise
the full potential of the Ulster Canal amenity.
And added that 'while there are is no intention to request NSMC approval for any further restoration at this point in time, the Ministers will examine next possible
steps when it is appropriate to do so.