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Thursday 8 June 2023 Dublin: 12°C
Louth County Council Impression of how the Narrow Water Bridge would look.
# narrow water bridge
EU body withdraws €18m funding for Narrow Water Bridge
Both Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin have called on the government to work on securing funding so the construction can go ahead.

A EUROPEAN PROGRAMME has withdrawn funding for the Narrow Water bridge which was due to be built at the spot where 18 British paratroopers were killed by a roadside bomb in 1979.

The Irish government had committed an upfront funding contribution of €3.9 million at the start of this year which was due to be matched by Northern Ireland authorities.

However the tender process resulted in a much higher price for the construction of the bridge than anticipated and the EU programme has now withdrawn the pledged €17.4 million.

Today the Department of Transport said the government here had indicated it would be willing to address the funding shortfall but this would depend on matching contributions from other parties including the Northern Ireland Executive.

“These commitments have not as yet been forthcoming,” it said in a statement.

Because of time restraints which require the EU money be spend before 2015, the Special EU Programmes Body decided to withdraw its letter of offer and is now looking at reallocating the money elsewhere.

The new bridge would have crossed the Newry River and linked Louth and Down.

‘Deeply disappointing’

At an all-party conference in Louth today, Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams said that while the decision is “deeply disappointing, it is not the end of the matter”.

The meeting today representing the border corridor region of Louth, south Armagh and south Down and including Louth County Council, Newry and Mourne and South Down councils, unanimously backed the project and called for an urgent meeting with the Taoiseach and Tánaiste, and with the First and Deputy First Ministers.

Fianna Fáil’s Michael Martin also commented that it was an “extremely frustrating day”.

“We secured funding from Europe, we successfully lobbied the North’s Finance Minister to release funding for the project and now the project has collapsed because of the failure of the governments to close the deal and find the extra monies needed,” he said. “There is no excuse for this failure.”

Related: New bridge linking Louth and Down gets planning permission>

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