West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Political pressure mounts for progress on A5

Published: 25 April, 2013

As the fallout from the judicial decision to stall the A5 continues, political pressure is mounting for the Roads Minister to address the remaining outstanding EU Habitats directive and move ahead with the project. This was the message coming from a Sinn Féin delegation representing the west following a series of meetings with the A5 contractors and the NI Chamber of Commerce. The meetings were attended by Pat Doherty MP, West Tyrone MLA's Declan Mc Aleer, Michaela Boyle, Barry Mc Elduff, along with South Tyrone representatives Bronwyn Mc Gahan MLA and Sean Lynch MLA, who is also deputy chair of the DRD Committee. Speaking following the meetings, Declan Mc Aleer said 'With thousands of jobs at stake, we thought it was important to meet the contractors directly affected by the A5 decision. We appreciate that thousands of workers were relying on this huge infrastructural project and many will now be forced overseas to work or join the ever increasing dole queue. 'We assured them of Sinn Féin's unequivocal and ongoing support, and pledged to do everything possible to get this vital project back on track. On Tuesday, the SF delegation met with the President of NI Chamber of Commerce, Mark Nodder and Ann Mc Gregor, Chief Executive of Enterprise NI. According to Michaela Boyle MLA 'Two of the six key priorities of NI Chamber of Commerce include lobbying for a green light for the delivery of large scale infrastructural projects and the promotion of trade overseas, with exports being an area that they are targeting for growth. 'Within that strategic context, we strongly placed the case for the A5 western transport corridor given that it is the single biggest infrastructural project in this part of Ireland. This fact is acknowledged by their colleagues in the chambers along the proposed route who have been doing excellent work on the campaign to date. 'We had an excellent discussion with the delegation on the A5 and other key topics such as corporation tax and the challenge faced by SME's in accessing finance. I am confident the Chamber took on board our case and have pledged to follow this up with their counterparts in the chambers of commerce west of the Bann'.