23/09/16

Minister Humphreys hosts inaugural meeting of the Ulster Canal Advisory Forum

The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, today (Friday) held the first meeting of the Ulster Canal Advisory Forum.  The meeting was also attended by Chris Hazzard, MLA Minister for Infrastructure Northern Ireland, as well as representatives from Councils on both sides of the border, and Waterways Ireland.

The Forum has been set up to explore ways to advance the Ulster Canal Project. It will look at possible funding mechanisms in the context of the review of the Ulster Canal restoration project included in the Stormont Agreement and Implementation Plan ‘A Fresh Start’. Today’s meeting will also include a presentation on the plans to develop a Greenway along the Ulster Canal route.

Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:

“The Ulster Canal project is one to which I am personally very committed. It is a very important project for the border region with the potential to attract increased visitor numbers and stimulate economic activity.

“I was very pleased to secure €2 million in funding in 2015 for the restoration of the Canal between the Shannon Erne waterway and Castle Saunderson. Now, this Forum will provide an important opportunity to examine all options for progressing the Canal further in the years ahead. I look forward to working with the councils and all stakeholders who are participating in the Forum in further advancing the project.”

The Forum membership includes Monaghan County Council, Cavan County Council, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and senior officials from the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, the Department for Infrastructure and Waterways Ireland.

Interested stakeholders from other organisations will be invited to attend meetings of the Forum as appropriate.

The forum will meet twice a year.

ENDS

Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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