Deputy Joe McHugh has warmly welcomed the announcement that the A5 has been given the go-ahead by the Northern Ireland authorities.
The Department of Infrastructure in the north has also made the vesting order for phase one of the road project.
“This is a brilliant day for Donegal. This Government has steadfastly supported the A5 financially and in every other way and today is a significant day for the county," the Government Chief Whip McHugh said.
According to the deputy, the Department of Infrastructure Northern Ireland has announced the publication of the Departmental Statement and Notice of Intention to Proceed; the making of the Direction Order which covers the entire route from Newbuildings in Derry to Ballygawley in County Tryone and the making of the Vesting Order for Phase 1a from Newbuildings to north of Strabane.
“The Orders would become operative in January 2018 and are among the final measures needed to allow work on the A5 to begin next year. The connection of Donegal to Dublin via a new A5 dual carriageway will attract more investment to our county, allowing Donegal to have a connection denied for decades," he said.
He added that he and the department of An Taoiseach have also made submissions to the British government seeking an extension of Phase 1a to beyond Sion Mills.
"This is strategically important for our Government and for Donegal as the link bridge to the new Lifford to Letterkenny road will be positioned south of Sion Mills. I am confident that this can also be delivered. This is a hugely important day for the people of Donegal and for the people of Derry and Tyrone at a time when we are working better together than ever before,” he said.