Brexit and the restoration of Newry Canal might seem strange bedfellows but not as far as Mournes Councillor, Cllr Henry Reilly is concerned.

The Canal got a mention at last night's Newry, Mourne and Down Council, Enterprise, Regeneration and Tourism monthly meeting.

A frosty morning on Newry Canal. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/
A frosty morning on Newry Canal. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/

Councillors were asked to approve the recommendations from a Brexit Forum meeting that took place 1 March. The Brexit Forum had been set up by Council to deal with the preparations for Brexit and any issues that arose during the transition period.

The reccommendations included approving a motion on 1 March from Councillor Michael Savage entitled "Brexit Shared Prosperity Fund". The motion expressed concern about the loss of £70M in EU structural funds and noted that the money promised to the devolved institutions by the British Government wouldn't be equivalent. It also asked that monies from the Westminster run Shared Prosperity Fund replace EU funding in full.

At the 1 March meeting Cllr Henry Reilly had recorded his opposition to the motion saying that the exit from EU created many opportunities and it was incumbent on Council to develop projects and seek funding from Government that has been committed.

Cllr Henry Reilly.

Speaking at last nights meeting, 8 March, on Cllr Savage's motion, Cllr Reilly said "I had actually pointed out the opportunities that may well flow from the shared prosperity fund and I mentioned two specific projects. Newry Canal, the re-instatement of it and Kilkeel Harbour, and I though I had asked we try and develop feasibility studies on them. It was just to note that. Kilkeel Harbour was mentioned by (Cllr) David Taylor. I had actually specifically mentioned Kilkeel Harbour and Newry Canal as potential projects that the Council could get involved in. I would like that noted please." Cllr Reilly's request was agreed and the Brexit Forum 1 March Report was passed (subject to ratification at full council meeting)



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