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Govt announces ‘nearly €1b’ for cross-border projects

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced “nearly €1 billion” for cross-border projects which “is the largest ever package of government funding for cross-border initiatives”.

“The return of the power sharing executive is hugely important for the people of Northern Ireland, and has brought renewed hope,” he said.

The package includes €600 million to the A5 upgrade from Derry to Letterkenny which will begin “later this year”.

Two other projects announced today “will bring northwest road connectivity on a par with other parts of the islands”.

The redevelopment of Casement Park Stadium in Belfast will get €50m, which will “maximise the benefits” of “the joint hosting by Ireland and the UK” for “the UEFA Euro 2028 championship”.

“The Government has also decided to fund a major regeneration of the Battle of the Boyne site in Co Meath” to the tune of €10m from the Shared Island Fund.

The Cabinet today agreed “to move ahead with our long standing commitments to the Narrow Water Bridge” connecting the Cooley Peninsula in Co Louth to the Mourne Mountains in Co Down and “we believe the contract for the new bridge can be signed as early as next month”.

The money released through the coalition’s Shared Island initiative also includes €12.5 million to increase the frequency of the Belfast/Dublin rail link to hourly services.

“This will double the existing service can be done as soon as next year,” he said.

The €800 million funding “shows our commitment to working with the new Executive, and with the UK Government, to make the island of Ireland a better place for everyone who calls it home”.

Additional reporting from PA

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