[Sinn Fein]

19th February 2003

SDLP man John Fee wrong on Narrow Water Bridge proposals

In a joint statement Sinn Fein Louth TD Arthur Morgan and South Down MLA Mick Murphy have criticised SDLP man John Fee for comments made about the viability of the proposed Narrow Water Bridge connecting North Louth and South Down.

Deputy Morgan said:

``The bridge at Narrow Water has the potential to facilitate tourism from Newcastle in County Down to Drogheda in Louth and to provide a connection from the Mountains of Mourne to the Cooley Mountains for the expanding nature orientated tourist market. It can also potentially make a significant contribution to job opportunities within tourism.

``In facilitating meetings between INTERREG and those promoting the project, I have tried to bring on board John Fee's SDLP colleagues including South Down MP Eddie McGrady, unfortunately there has been no reply. However, INTERREG have made it clear that while they cannot definitively comment on a project where there is no application, that the Narrow Water Bridge would not just be an ideal project in terms of meeting their criteria, it would also potentially be a flagship infrastructural project for the Eastern seaboard.

Mr Murphy added:

``There have been two major presentations of the research on this issue before and after Christmas, John Fee attended neither. So he is passing comment on something he knows little about. The Narrow Water Bridge can not only can potentially boost tourism and tourist jobs but it can also assist in the reduction of the traffic logjam in Newry. The bridge could play a significant role in helping Warrenpoint harbour in reaching its' full potential, with the potential of locating significant industrial development on both sides of the bridge.''

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