TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has admitted that the idea of building a bridge which would link Scotland to Northern Ireland 'should be examined'.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, the Irish leader discouraged from people from dismissing the idea outright, despite the criticism surrounding the project.
"Prime Minister Johnson is genuinely interested in taking a serious look at this idea of building a bridge between Antrim and Scotland," Varadkar said.
"I know people dismiss it, but I don’t. It needs to be looked at. It needs to be at least examined
"I've seen what the Chinese have got ... 100km-long bridges. I don't know if it viable but I also don't think it should be dismissed out of hand and I know he is particularly excited about that one."
Varadkar suggested that Ireland could help pay for the bridge, due to the fact that it would have a significant impact on the economy of Northern Ireland.
Two routes have been suggested for the structure, including a 12-mile crossing that spans the shortest gap between the two countries: Mull of Kintyre in Scotland to Torr Head, Northern Ireland.
The other is a 26-mile crossing from Portpatrick to Larne, which is seen as the more viable option due to the fact that it would, in an engineering sense, be easier because of the better road infrastructure compared to the shorter route.
Expert engineers have pointed to the 34-mile Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge as an example of how this type of bridge can be successfully constructed.
What has been proposed is a cable-stayed or suspension bridge for the shallower sections of the ocean-floor and a floating pontoon-style bridge that would be tied to the seabed with cables for the deeper sections.