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I am grateful to the Minister for his statement. He will know that I am not an enthusiastic supporter of the Narrow Water bridge project. His statement referred to the role and attitude of Louth County Council. Will the Minister inform the House of the role and attitude of the Irish Government and the National Roads Authority and their level of commitment to the proposed scheme? Given the current economic climate, particularly in the Irish Republic, is the proposed scheme viable? Will the Minister also clarify his Department’s involvement, if any, in the Narrow Water bridge project?
I welcome the study that is being undertaken into the more sensible proposal of providing a relief road linking the A2 Warrenpoint Road and the A1 at Newry. Does the Minister agree that that is more likely to make a substantial contribution to easing the problems of Newry, particularly the freight problems that drivers experience leaving Warrenpoint harbour and also by Warrenpoint Harbour Authority?