Donegal County Councillor Niamh Kennedy says a rail connection to Donegal is no longer an aspiration, but a possibility.
Cllr Kennedy has called for a cross-directorate working group to be set up within Donegal County Council to look at the potential of a rail network returning to Donegal. Cllr Kennedy said the project needs to be driven forward locally before it is brought to central government.
“Years ago rail in Donegal was very aspirational but there’s never been a better or bigger opportunity than there is now, considering all the money available with the green agenda and the economy and with the Green Party in power with others,” Cllr Kennedy said.
“We take about being the forgotten county and the perception that we are so far away when really we are not. To bring rail into the county it would open up the tourism numbers to huge level, we’ll never have seen anything like before.”
Cllr Kennedy said that many visitors go direct from air to rail to their destination, and that rail would open the north west to the rest of the country. She added that recent public meetings in Letterkenny and Strabane identified a public appetite but a lack of political will. If a working group is set up within the council, she said, it should have good lines of communication between departments such as roads and transportation and environment.
“I believe that us as local elected members, that if we can’t drive this and come together as a working group and bring it forward and if we can’t bring it to Central government then it will never happen,” Cllr Kennedy told Monday’s county council meeting in Lifford.
“I think it’s possible, it’s not aspirational at all and we need to be the drivers of that.”