Update: Annaghroe/Knockaginny Bridges

I was able to confirm yesterday that construction has in fact already begun on the bridges at Annaghroe and Knockaginny. The contract has been awarded to Jons Civil Engineering of Duleek, County Meath, who in fact began work earlier in the month. Tom Elliott had suggested on Saturday that work had not yet began on the prject amidst his criticism of the project.

Although Tom Elliott gave a figure of €1.5m, a representative of the Meath civil engineering firm put it at “around a million euro”.

It’s the first cross-border project undertaken by the firm, however the company has an extensive portfolio of work in the Republic,  including the M50 upgrade (N3 to N4 Junctions) and  N2 Finglas Ashbourne Bypas, to name but a few.

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A Bridge Too Far

The old bridges at Annaghroe and Knockaginny are very peaceful these days.

Crossing the River Blackwater from Tyrone into Monaghan over the bridges today can only be achieved on foot. Strollers can absorb the wildlife of the nature trails of Annaghroe Meadows, but the amidst the natural beauty of the wider area is harboured a graveyard for past ruins of historic connection.

The Great Northern Railway, the Ulster Canal and more recently the Annaghroe and Knockaginny Bridges were both economic, cultural and physical connections between the Northern border counties to the rest of the Ireland. While the canal and the railway fell victim to changing times, the two bridges hide the scars of a more distinct and violent modern era.

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Robinson sidesteps GAA acknowledgement

First Minister Peter Robinson today sidestepped an open initiation by West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff to acknowledge the achievement of Cookstown Father Rocks in winning the All Ireland Intermediate Club Football title on Valentine’s Day.

McElduff, who chairs the Assembly’s Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee, extended the invitation to “acknowledge and congratulate” the Tyrone club’s achievement during Monday’s First Minister’s Questions.

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