MORE than 50 locals held a protest in Glenties on Monday evening to highlight the urgent need for a bridge which collapsed more than four years ago to be replaced.
Last November, Donegal County Council said it would examine the possibility of replacing the collapsed Bridge at Mullantyboyle with a temporary structure. The bridge is located on the Glenties to Fintown Road and locals have been told that there is no money available to cover the €600,000 cost of replacement works.
Cllr Michael Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig has called on the government to provide funding for the replacement of the bridge.
He stated: “Everything is there and ready to go to tender but the problem is that the money just isn’t there. I am calling on the Dublin government to examine this. They have already spent a fair bit on money on consultants and design and I think it needs to be followed through.
Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig also questioned the figure of €600,000 for the replacement of the bridge. “I’m not an engineer myself but it does seem like quite a high figure for a bridge which only has a span of 14 to 15 metres. I would be very keen that this work would get done and not at a cost as much as €600,000.”
The Chairperson of Donegal South West Ógra, Ian Molloy, has also praised the Glenties community and his fellow members on the town’s Action Group for starting a campaign to speed up the reconstruction of the Mullantyboyle Bridge and has called on Donegal County Council to make funding available immediately.
Mr Molloy stated: “Unfortunately I was out if the county yesterday evening when I heard notice about the event. But, a friend who attended informed me that a large group turned out at the bridge to show support for the campaign which we hope at this stage will force Donegal County Council to start the badly needed repairs immediately.”
He continued: “For my part this week I will be re-engaging with elected members of Donegal County Council to ensure they are aware that the people of Glenties will not waver and will continue to fight for the bridge’s reconstruction. This bridge is a vital piece of infrastructure for the town; not only has it severed traffic but it is also a commonly used walking route for tourists and many of the towns residents.
Mr Molloy concluded: “Many of our politicians made encouraging noises about the bridge before the Local Elections in May. So I now call on every elected member of Donegal County Council to make funding available for this vital infrastructural project.”