Fianna Fáil TD Charlie McConalogue has slammed the government for diverting funding of €27 million from the A5 dual carriageway project to meet the growing costs of the National Children’s Hospital.

Deputy McConalogue said “The A5 is a vital piece of infrastructure for Donegal and the North West. Today we are looking at another significant delay as the government scrambles to fund the over run on the National Children’s Hospital and targets the north west as the first area to have funding taken away.

“This comes on the back of recent delays to the project as a result of a Northern Ireland court ruling preventing the commencement of work on the A5 due to the legal requirement for Stormont Ministerial sign off on large infrastructural projects. Unfortunately, this failure by the DUP and Sinn Fein to agree on the restoration of a Government in Stormont is now being used as cover by the Government to pull back on its budgetary commitment to the project as well.

“I know that efforts are underway to try to over come the legal impasse so that the requirement for Stormont Ministerial sign off can be circumvented, with a view work being able to commence on the A5 before the end of this year. This makes it crucial that the funding from the Government is available for the project so that it can proceed if the legal impasse is resolved.

“We have previously seen the budgetary commitment to the A5 project scaled back by Fine Gael from £400 million to £75 million. It is essential that the Government understands that this project is non negotiable for Donegal and the North West and that their failure to manage large health projects must not be allowed to delay the delivery of this key infrastructural project for our region,” concluded Deputy McConalogue.

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