WELCOME TO THE NARROW WATER BRIDGE COMMUNITY NETWORK
To develop, enhance and protect the natural environment and cultural heritage of the Carlingford Lough Area to achieve a level of excellence in sustainable tourism which will establish the area as the prime tourist destination on the East Coast of Ireland.
The NWBCN believes that central to achieving this goal is the building of a bridge at Narrow Water.
Ireland's Ancient East
Cycle tourism is a growing global business.
A New Decade, A New Approach
The NWBCN has given a very cautious welcome to the inclusion of the Narrow Water Bridge in the 'New Decade, New Approach’ document recently published ahead of the political parties agreeing to re-enter Stormont. The language at page 52 of the document is encouragingly precise. Under the heading 'Turbocharging Infrastructure', Northern Ireland will benefit from increased funding for capital infrastructure as a result of the UK government’s proposed infrastructure revolution. This funding will enable the new Stormont Executive to invest in a range of projects which include the A5/A6 upgrade, the York Street Interchange, a new medical school for Derry and the Narrow Water Bridge.
It is hard to image a more ancient and iconic site than Saul near Downpatrick believed to be the burial place of St Patrick. The NWBCN has long called for the extension of Ireland's Ancient East to include the eastern counties of Northern Ireland, a landscape as littered with remains of our ancient past both Christian and Pre-Christian as the counties further south. It is heartening to note that political support for this is gathering.
As tourism is one of the areas of cooperation set out in the Good Friday Agreement the political structures are already in place to bring this about. A critical counter-balance to the highly successful Wild Atlantic Way is necessary to create a more equitable dispersal of tourist visitors as they arrive at the main entry point at Dublin Airport. Read what Pascal Donohoe, the then Tourism Minister in the Republic, had to say at the launch of the Ireland's Ancient East initiative back in 2015.
A Eurovelo study from 2012 indicated that the European cycle market was worth €54 billion. Indeed the Great Western Greenway, a pioneer initiative in long-distance cycle trail boasts of creating some 200 tourism-related jobs in County Mayo. This growth in active tourism such as cycling and walking is one of the underpinning arguments in support of the building of the Narrow Water Bridge. Both councils, particularly Louth County Council, are to be congratulated in their efforts in developing the local cycle network. However the current greenway spine leaves Warrenpoint and South Down isolated. The Narrow Water Bridge will provide the natural interconnector for the Cooley, Gullion and Mourne region