McGuinness: “It’s fair to say [A5 upgrade is] back on track again”

No, really!!  Following the Irish Government’s decision to postpone their £400million contribution to the £850million cost of the proposed A5 upgrade, the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers announced they would be seeking “maximum clarity on this issue” in talks with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, while they were in Dublin today.

After the meeting, the NI deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, was accentuating the positive to UTV’s Ken Reid.

“It’s far from dead,” Mr McGuinness told UTV. “I think, as a result of our discussions today, we’re greatly heartened by what we’ve heard and we look forward to completing some work ourselves and the Taoiseach over the course of the coming days.”

“It’s fair to say it’s back on track again,” he added.

[So much for that ‘windfall’ then! – Ed]  The NI First Minister, the DUP’s Peter Robinson, was less effusive – watch the UTV video.

Mr Robinson explained Dublin’s contribution would be “re-profiled rather than lost”.

The BBC report has some further clarity on the details

The Irish government has agreed to provide a total of 50 million euros (£42m).

The first 25m euros will be provided for 2015 and the second in 2016.  [added emphasis]

Full details are expected to be announced at a North-South ministerial meeting next week.

That’s into a whole new budget period for the Northern Ireland Executive.  Assuming nothing else intervenes…  [Some things never change… – Ed]

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