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Donegal T.D., launches online railway petition 14.01.08

A DONEGAL North East T.D., has launched an online petition to bring a rail link back to the North West. Deputy Joe McHugh said he was "sick and tired" of the Government's "lackadaisical attitude" to infrastructure in the region.
He said he would present his petition to the Department of Transport to highlight the level of dissatisfaction felt by the public in Donegal, Derry, Sligo and Leitrim that they remain without a rail link in the year 2008. We want a fair return on our taxes and itís time we reminded those in Dublin that we pay the same taxes as them," said Deputy McHugh.
Donegal once led the way in terms of rail. Pictured is a Swilly steam train on the old Inishowen line. "I call on the people of Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim and Derry to get behind the campaign to improve the state of the infrastructure system.
"Since I entered Leinster House almost six years ago, I have been campaigning for a rail link from Sligo to Derry via Letterkenny. Cross-border co-operation seems to
be the buzz word at the moment yet Transport Minister, Noel Dempsey seems to have no interest in providing a very viable infrastructural project. I am asking the public to back this campaign."
Deputy McHugh said the railway line would give a "huge boost" to the tourism industry in the region.
"FŠilte Ireland are working very closely with their Northern counterparts at the moment but we need a proper North West infrastructure link if we are to progress as a region."
He referred to tourism conference in Letterkenny last week on how to attract visitors on a cross border basis.
"We canít expect tourists to come to the region if we have not got the proper structures in place. If we link Sligo, Letterkenny and Derry through rail the entire region of the North West will be opened up.
"Tourists arriving into the airports in Belfast could travel to Derry, Letterkenny or Sligo via train. This is the kind of service we need. No amount of marketing is going to make up for a lack of infrastructure."
The petition is available at www.donegalmatters.com with a facility to leave your comments.
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