He insisted that the British Government as co-signatories of the St Andrews Agreement must meet their responsibilities to the A5 project. He called on the Irish Government to engage with their British counterparts on how all parties to the St Andrews Agreement can collectively deliver this essential peace process commitment.
But it was his call for ‘genuine political unity’ in the county which will rile opponents.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said: “There is no doubt that the Irish Government have reneged on their promise on the A5 to the people of Donegal and the North West in terms of the St Andrew’s Agreement which sought to bridge the gap of inequality between our region and the rest of the Island.
“However, I am conscious that the British Government also signed up to the St Andrews Agreement and the two Governments now need to discuss how they can work together to address this issue. To date, this has been the elephant in the room in all of this.
“The Irish Government have to repay a loan of billions of pounds sterling with interest back to the British Government as part of the bail out package agreed a year ago. Britain’s banks were bailed out rather than the Irish people. At the very least, the Irish Government should seek to engage with their British counterparts around how the A5 project could be slotted into that arrangement”.
He continued: “I also repeat my call for genuine political unity across the North West on this issue as has been the case down the years.
“It has been very noticeable that some local representatives are all over the place on this A5 issue, bizarrely seeking to blame Sinn Féin in the North and when that backfired, forming political alliances that exclude Sinn Féin, then spurning those alliances and remarkably stating that there are no other options outside the island of Ireland for funding this project.
“This is not political leadership. It is irresponsible opportunism. I appeal to all political leaders in the region to quit the messing around and start singing from the one hymn sheet again.”
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