New website launched for rail campaign

A new website has been launched in support of the campaign to bring railway services to Donegal.

A new website has been launched in support of the campaign to bring railway services to Donegal.

The website, www.linkingeuropeanddonegal.org, is part of the campaign which wants to see Donegal and Derry linked up with the western rail corridor.

Carrigans clergyman Rev. David Crooks says the campaign is looking for local committees to be established in towns in the county along the proposed rail route to highlight the potential benefit.

He says he has received a commitment from Taosieach Enda Kenny, whom he met before the general election, that the project will be costed. Estimates put the cost of a rail route from Galway to Derry at €400million.

The campaign is inspired by the campaigners who sought the re-opening of the Limerick to Galway line which opened last year.

The aim is to have the Western Rail Corridor extended from Galway via Claremorris, Tubbercurry and Sligo, to Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Donegal, Ballybofey, Stranorlar, Letterkenny and Newtowncunningham to Derry, creating a Derry to Cork rail link.

Rev Crooks, who is a member of the North West on Track campaign, said he believes a rail link can be developed in tandem with road improvements such as Ballybofey bypass and the A5 dual carriageway. He said other parts of the country have both rail and high quality road links so there is no reason why Donegal should not.

“I hope to live to see a line go through Barnesmore Gap,” he said. He hopes the new website will help get more people in the county involved. “It is about getting a good body of people in Donegal to stand up and say we have the same rights to rail and motorway as the likes of Wexford, Mayo and Clare,” he said.

Rev. Crooks said the funding of such a project is feasible in the current financial situation and would bring huge benefits to the economy of Donegal. It would also help develop tourism and industry and would create jobs.

“Towns like Ballybofey, Stranorlar, Donegal, Ballyshannon and Bundoran are big enough to support it. It just seems to me that Donegal is the forgotten part of Ireland. I am passionate about making sure Donegal has the same benefits as other parts of the country.”