The issue of the Narrowater Bridge was raised by both Senator Jim D’Arcy and Senator Mary Moran at a recent meeting of the Joint Committee for the Implementation of the Good Friday agreement. The Joint Committee for the Implementation of the Good Friday agreement is an all-party Oireachtas Committee that also includes members of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Northern Ireland MPs from Westminster Parliament. The meeting recently was attended by Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore along with officials from the Northern Ireland Secretariat. At the meeting, Senator D’Arcy asked that the Narrowwater Bridge be regarded not as a roads project but as a peace and tourism project. In that regard he requested that Minister Gilmore use his best offices to see that the project is allowed to go through the planning stage as requested by Louth County Council Manager, Conn Murray. “I asked Minister Gilmore to give the project political support as he has given to the A5,” said Senator D’Arcy.
Senator Moran spoke at the meeting saying that it was a most important project for the Louth/Down area and should remain a vital part of the infrastructural plan for the Northeast region. “I want to see this project go ahead,” said Senator Moran. “It is very important that it does.” In reply, Minister Gilmore stated that he would give the two Senators request serious consideration. After the meeting both Senators approached the Minister and asked for a meeting with him on the matter. Minister Gilmore has since agreed to meet the Senators and that meeting will take place in the near future. Both Senators have agreed to work together as members of the Joint Committee for the Implementation of the Good Friday agreement to see what progress can be made on the matter. They also intend speaking to the Sinn Fein Assembly member, Conor Murphy who is also a member of the Joint Committee for the Implementation of the Good Friday agreement, but who was unavoidably absent from the last meeting. In his absence Michelle Gildernew gave the idea her full support. The general consensus from both Senators is that if the project can get through the planning stage then the next step can then be assessed in relation to funding for the bridge.