Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

A5 plans on track, says McGuinness

Martin McGuinness

The major cross-border A5 road link thought to have been effectively shelved by the Dublin government is back on track, Martin McGuinness has said.

The Deputy First Minister made the comment after he and his government partner, First Minister Peter Robinson, held talks with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

The Stormont leaders were in Dublin attending the inauguration of President Michael D Higgins, but also held talks on the stalled road plan with Mr Kenny.

The dual carriageway, stretching from Londonderry to Monaghan, providing a road link from Donegal to Dublin, was said to have fallen foul of spending cuts forced by the economic crisis.

But Mr McGuinness said of the project: "It is far from dead and I think as a result of our discussions ... we are greatly heartened by what we have heard and we look forward to completing some work between ourselves and the Taoiseach over the course of the coming days."

The Sinn Fein representative added: "I think it is fair to say it's back on track."

Over recent months the Fine Gael-led government had confirmed its support for the road scheme, requiring hundreds of millions in investment.

Resources were also to be invested by the Stormont administration, while millions have already been spent on the project. And while Mr Kenny's government said this week it remained committed in principle to the project, the Stormont leaders said they needed clarity, so as to evaluate the impact on their own spending plans.

Mr Robinson signalled to UTV news that the talks with the Taoiseach had raised hopes the project will proceed. "It is re-profiled rather than lost," he said.

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