A ‘hugely significant’ €40 million investment in the restoration of the Ulster Canal has been announced this evening by Minister Heather Humphreys.
Phase 2 of the works in Clones is due to commence in the coming months while phase 3, which is receiving this latest allocation, is now guaranteed to take place accordingly.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys highlighted how the Ulster Canal restoration has been a priority for her since her days on Monaghan County Council.
She said that as Minister for Rural and Community Development, she worked to secure over €12 million in funding last year so that work could commence on the development of the canal in Clones including the provision of a marina in the town.
The Minister highlighted how Phase 3 will join these two sections together and subsequently link the section in Clones with Castle Saunderson.
This, she added, will also provide access to the wider inland waterway network of the Shannon-Erne Waterway, Shannon Navigation and the Royal and Grand Canals.
Minister Humphreys said today’s announcement is, in many respect, the final piece of the jigsaw in the connection of Clones with the entire inland waterways system.
Meanwhile, the Ulster Canal is supported by funding from the Shared Island Fund and the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, which is a key part of Our Rural Future, the Government’s ambitious five-year strategy for rural Ireland.
"I am over the moon that Government has today approved this €40m investment in the Ulster Canal through the Shared Island Fund," added the Minister.
"This project is hugely important not just for Clones and County Monaghan but for the wider border region.
"I will continue to work with Waterways Ireland, Monaghan County Council and my Government colleagues to ensure the Ulster Canal is delivered for the benefit of this region."
Senator Robbie Gallagher Welcomes Government approval of over €70m for Shared Island investments said he was "delighted" to see further funding of over €70m in funding for Shared Island projects and investments.
"The Shared Island Initiative is an important part of the programme for the Government," he continued.
"It aims to drive and co-ordinate the development of an all-Ireland economy as well as deepen and strengthen the North/South relationship."