Updated: 21/03/17 : 06:06:42
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Sligo - Donegal rail link would 'close a major gap' in rail network

Sligo County Council has passed a motion calling for the reinstatement of a light rail line between Sligo and Donegal which would link up with the rail network in the north.

The motion, which was passed last month, further called on the various local authorities in the region to work collectively with a view to advancing the project.

According to Donegal Daily this move has been welcomed by Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty, who said that the timing of the passage is a strong statement for cross-border travel ahead of Brexit.

Deputy Doherty said: “This motion, which was passed last month by the elected members of Sligo County Council is a welcome development and further highlights the desire for increased cross border collaboration on this island.

“It’s passage now means that Sligo County Council has officially declared its support for the proposals to reinstate a rail line linking Sligo to Donegal and to join up with rail infrastructure in the six counties; and thus closing a major gap which exists in our island’s present rail network.

“Elected Representatives also backed calls for Sligo County Council to facilitate and host talks and meetings between the various representatives from each of the local authorities concerned so as to consider ways to advance the project.

“I think that the timing of this motion is also very appropriate, considering that the triggering of Article 50 is nearing ever closer, and particularly given all of the uncertainties which Brexit has brought to communities living right across the border region.

“The construction of a light rail network between Sligo, Donegal and counties in the north would send out a clear signal to the powers that be both here at home, in Westminister and in Brussels that there is no desire for a hard border between north and south and that communities here will not tolerate any measures which will prevent people from travelling freely across our island.

“This proposal would also go some way towards further developing the western rail corridor and also realising the proposed western rail arc project, something which Sinn Féin has long endorsed and promoted as something which would transform public transport on the island by providing an all-island rail network connecting Belfast and Derry to Sligo, via Donegal, with Galway and Limerick.”