Buncrana Tidy Towns Garden Chairperson Paddy McLaughlin has written to the Taoiseach and Donegal TD and Government Chief Whip Joe McHugh TD to invite both to visit Swan Park during the Taoiseach’s visit to the town next week to formally open the new Cockhill Bridge.

In his letter Buncrana Tidy Town’s Chairperson Paddy McLaughlin has emphasised that Swan Park is an important local amenity and tourist attraction which remains closed at a significant loss to the Inishowen peninsula.

He also writes: “Buncrana Tidy Towns acknowledge the fantastic work of Donegal County Council in maintaining and developing Swan Park. Prior to the floods we had expected development work to begin late last year that would have greatly enhanced what is already a historic and much-loved local heritage location. Buncrana Tidy Towns and other local organisations had worked closely with the Council to develop the planned works, and collectively we were really proud of what we had as a community achieved.

“As a town we feel really let down by the Government as no Minister has engaged with us to provide a funding solution for the estimated €2.3m needed to restore and reopen the park. Swan Park is to Inishowen what the Phoenix Park is to Dublin. It would be unimaginable after enduring significant damage from flooding that the Phoenix Park or indeed Stephens Green or Herbert Park would be left impassable for over a year due to a refusal by Government to provide the necessary public funding.

“Thousands of locals have already signed and presented a signed a petition to Government calling for funding needed to reopen the park. Donegal County Council has the necessary plans and permissions to commence the work. Buncrana Tidy Towns for our part made a joint application with Donegal County Council to secure funding from the Community Involvement Scheme to at least get the paths reopened but the funding was not granted. I cannot overstate how let down the people of Buncrana and indeed wider Inishowen feel on this issue. It would be unforgiveable of the Taoiseach to visit Buncrana and not see for himself how badly damaged Swan Park remains.”

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