Irish Labour Party: “We may not be in a position to build the road from Dublin…”

Thanks to today’s Irish News we have the response from the Northern Ireland Regional Development Minister, Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy, to comments from Irish Labour Party transport spokesman, Joe Costello, which cast doubt on the proposed £850million upgrade of the A5 between Londonderry and Aughnacloy.

From the Irish News report

Mr Murphy said last night it was too late for the Republic to back out of its commitment to the project because the contract had already been signed and a payment plan agreed by the Irish government.

“Those payments are being met,” he said.

“This isn’t simply a project which is sitting there for someone to decide if it will happen or not.”

Except that Conor Murphy went on to say

“I think it would be a huge mistake and an abandonment of the people of the north west if this project were to be reneged on by any government in Dublin,” he told Radio Ulster.

It’s still an option for the Irish government then?  Presumably because any contract in place, in relation to the Londonderry to Aughnacloy A5 upgrade, will have been between the NI Executive [or just DRD] and developers. 

 Of course, if there is any default involved, the Northern Ireland Regional Development Minister can always try to take the Irish government to court…

And as the Irish News report continues

However, Labour’s transport spokesman Joe Costello reiterated comments he made to The Irish News, saying the Republic might not be able to afford it.

“We may not be in a position required to build the road from Dublin as far as Aughnacloy, not to talk about making a half billion contribution to Aughnacloy to Derry,” he said.