Milestone moment as second phase of cross-border canal project complete and open to public

Milestone moment as second phase of cross-border canal project complete and open to public

A MILESTONE has been achieved in a landmark cross-border project in Ireland which will see the Ulster Canal restored.

The Ulster Canal Restoration project was added to Waterways Ireland remit following a meeting of Ireland’s North South Ministerial Council in 207.

The organisation is tasked with restoring the section from Lough Erne in Co. Fermanagh to Clones in Co. Monaghan - a stretch of approximately 14.5km.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin was among those in attendance for the launch event

The restoration is being delivered in three phases, due to planning and availability of capital, and the second phase has just been completed.

The canal is now restored between Clonfad and Clones, and open for navigation, it was confirmed this week.

It includes a major canal basin marina and amenity area in Clones, which Taoiseach Simon Harris and Tánaiste Micheál Martin went along to officially mark the phase completion in Co. Monaghan.

They were joined by Ministers Darragh O’Brien and Heather Humphreys along with Northern Ireland Minister for Infrastructure John O’Dowd,and Junior Minister in the Executive Office, Pam Cameron.

The second phase of the Ulster Canal Restoration Project is now complete

“I am delighted to see delivery for Clones, County Monaghan of a landmark new marina and restored section of the Ulster Canal,” the Taoiseach said.

“This project embodies so clearly the benefits of North South cooperation and investment for County Monaghan, and across the entire border region.

“It is a project that symbolises peace and reconciliation on our island; One that will bring lasting benefits for generations to come.”

Tánaiste Micheál Martin also welcomed the milestone moment in the project.

"I established the Shared Island Initiative with the aim of fostering cooperation, connection and mutual understanding on our island,” he said.

“The Ulster Canal restoration project embodies what Shared Island is all about - communities working together for the betterment of the island for everyone who calls it home.”

He added: “The restoration of the Ulster Canal reconnects the region with its rich heritage, while also developing a modern tourism amenity for all to enjoy. It will greatly enhance the lives of communities and the economy along the border."

Through the Shared Island Fund, the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, over €20 million has been invested in phase two of the project.