Donegal TD insists A5 road upgrade has to be prioritised


DONEGAL TD Pearse Doherty is demanding that the A5 road upgrade is prioritised following the restoration of the Northern Ireland Executive, describing the route as “critical infrastructure”.

The A5 connects Derry with Strabane, Omagh, and Aughnacloy in Tyrone.


Just south of Aughnacloy lies the border with the Republic, where the A5 intersects with the N2 leading to Dublin. Together, the A5 and N2 are the primary road links between north Donegal and Dublin.

“The A5 upgrade is a key priority for Sinn Féin, as First Minister Michelle O’Neill made clear on her appointment. The road upgrade was agreed to by the British and Irish governments in the St. Andrew’s Agreement back in 2006 – over 17 years ago,” Deputy Doherty reminded the Dáil.

“Everyone knew then that this project is key to unlocking the economic potential of the North West. A region which repeatedly records the highest levels of deprivation on the island, and which bore the brunt of partition.

“But this road project is about more than economic development – it is about saving lives. One of the most dangerous routes in Ireland, since 2006, more than 50 people have lost their lives on the road,” continued the Sinn Féin TD.

Apart from safety concerns, the A5 lacks dual carriageway sections, and for years, the route has funneled traffic through various towns and villages, causing bottlenecks. Nonetheless, Deputy Doherty’s primary concern remains the risk to life.

“I attended the recent public inquiry in Omagh and heard the testimony from individuals who had lost family members on the road. Their message was clear, enough is enough.

“So we need to see from this government a recommitment to the commitment that was made in the St. Andrews agreement. Nothing more. Nothing less.


“And that was a joint commitment from the Irish and British governments at the time. The Irish government committed to fund this project on a 50/50 basis. That commitment was scaled down in 2014 to £75 million.

“I understand there is a willingness now to increase the level of funding to the A5, but I’m asking the government to live by the commitment that was given in the St. Andrews Agreement to fund that project on a 50/50 basis,” concluded Deputy Doherty.

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