Brendan Smith: €40m for Ulster Canal restoration a major boost for local tourism

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith has welcomed the announcement by Taoiseach Micheál Martin  that €40 million is being provided under his Department’s Shared Island Initiative for phase 3 of the restoration of the Ulster Canal, stating that the finished canal will be a major boost for local tourism.

Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “This is an extremely important and welcome decision and this part of the project will connect Castle Saunderson and Clonfad and will link by navigable waterway Clones to the Erne System and onwards to the Shannon/Erne waterway.

“Funding provided in December 2020 under the Shared Island Initiative enabled preparatory work to be undertaken and now it will be possible to undertake the following sections of the overall project: Castle Saunderson to Gortnacarrow; Gortnacarrow to the border and new canal navigation between the border at Derrynure and the border at Clonfad

“These are very substantial restoration works and moves this project on to a very exciting development stage.”

The Cavan and Monaghan TD continued: “The restoration of the Ulster Canal is a major cross border project which will considerably enhance our tourism product at a local level, providing a new amenity for local residents and visitors, will generate economic activity and assist in job creation. This waterway will also be an integral part of our All Ireland navigable inland waterways network which is a powerful natural resource and such a key part of our national tourism infrastructure and attraction.

“In this area we have all seen the benefits of developing the Erne/Shannon Waterway which was an extremely forward looking project and undertaken at a very difficult time on our island in the early 1990s. Linking up these waterways will be a further welcome tourism attraction bringing benefits to many parts of our island. This funding being allocated under the Shared Island Fund, initiated by An Taoiseach, demonstrates clearly the potential of this initiative to develop cross-border and All Ireland projects for the benefit of all the people of this country. The border region will be a major beneficiary of such investment,” added Deputy Brendan Smith.