Council still waiting for meeting with Taoiseach on A5 funding

Donegal County Council is still waiting for a meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny to discuss the A5 improvement and the link from the new A5 to Letterkenny via Strabane and Lifford.

Irish Government commitments to provide significant funding for the A5 are on hold, while the planned upgrading of the Lifford to Letterkenny link remains suspended.

The council's roads director says he expects funding to be announced next year for planning of the A5 link, which will involve a new bridge over the River Finn.

Responding to a question from Cllr Ciaran Brogan, Roads Director John Mc Laughlin confirmed the National Roads Office is currently involved in the redesign of approximately 450 metres of dual carraigeway linking the N15 at Lifford to the new A5 outside Strabane.

He says it's likely that the link will receive sufficient funding in 2013 to allow the design workl proceed to the next step once statutory approvals have been completed.

Meanwhile, he says, Donegal is part of a group of North West councils lobbying for a dual carriageway from the border to Dublin. They have already made a presentation to the Good Friday Agreement Implementation Committee seeking to have a route selectuion report commissioned to examine how best to link the N2 at Clontibret with the M1 north of Dublin.

Meanwhile, work was to have begun on two stretches of the A5, but that's been delayed pending further objections. The result of a preliminary hearing is expected shortly, and Mr Mc Laughlin says that result will shape what happens next.