Donegal Matters

Joe McHugh TD

An tAire Stáit um an Diaspóra agus Fhorbairt Idirnáisiúnta
Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Joe McHugh TD

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By: Joe McHugh, May 1, 2018 In Joe's Blog

                                                                           Bridging the Gaps
Monday gave me the opportunity to catch up on the high quality road and bridge infrastructure spend in Inishowen following the devastating floods last August.

10 million euro was allocated by the Government for specific flood repairs.

I traversed another two new bridges yesterday on the Carndonagh to Buncrana road – the quality of the work is exceptional and I suppose they’re a fixed reminder of the extent of the physical damage and trauma of such an unprecedented event last year.

The conversations still go back to that Tuesday night in August.

And on the Isle of Doagh – although not affected by the flood – that’s where the talk took us. It was good to catch up with Paddy and Charlie.

Human nature and the resilience of Inishowen people always point to the future.

And the Irish Open in Ballyliffin Golf Club is a big part of that.
I caught up with John Farren and his team a few weeks back to see the progress. This will be a very significant moment in Donegal’s history as the Inishowen community gears up for an international golfing feast.


An important new gateway for this tournament will be the new bridge at Cockhill. This 3 million euro project is progressing very well and will be badly needed for this tour and after.

On the eastern shore of Inishowen, Greencastle Harbour remains a top priority for this Government.

Having secured the development of the harbour in the 2040 National Development Plan it is important to put together a comprehensive plan to see this project through.

National Development Plan 2018-2027


I will be working closely with the Foyle Fishermen’s Coop and harbour users over the next while to progress that.

One of the positives in my role as a TD is to drop in to schools and meet the next generation of young people.

Yesterday, I met up with the team at Gaelscoil Cois Feabhail in Moville.

It was an opportunity to thank the school for helping to launch of Bliain na Gaeilge in Dublin for Christmas.

Moville Gaelscoil pupils help Taoiseach and Minister launch Bliain na Gaeilge 2018

And looking to the future I met with the staff and one of the parents to ensure that the momentum to build a new school in Moville is kept alive.

Bhí mé caint leis na mic léinn faduda a caitheamh aimsire, spórt agus spraoi, an teanga agus an todhchaí. Bhain mé sult as an comhrá agus an díospóireacht.

Glenmakee NS was also a very important catch-up in relation to their short term and long term plans. I also met the players who will be playing in a soccer tournament in Cavan this week.

Scoil Mhuire Caiseal in Fanad will also be participating. Score plenty a chailíní!

I also have to mention young Michael Lockhart from Ayr Hill NS in Ramelton who took time out to write to me. Good luck with your walk this Friday!


Up in Malin Head Coast Guard station I spent time with staff discussing plans for the future. Lives continue to be saved on a daily basis through the dedication and commitment of the team based at the northernmost point of the country. We owe them a debt of gratitude.

Visit to Malin Coast Guard Station


Nearby I met Ali Farren of the Malin Head Community Association to catch up on all the community and tourism related activities. Good to see the force is still with them!

And back in Carndonagh I got a tour and a warm welcome from the team in Milltown house. There is a tremendous opportunity for respite at this facility that I will continue to pursue.


My final event on Monday night was with the Letterkenny Dyslexia workshop. What an incredible group doing really important work. Congrats to all involved and especially Sharon, Louise and Mick.


Just landed at Government Buildings here now for a pre-cabinet meeting and then a full Cabinet discussion chaired by An Taoiseach.

Tuesdays are busy!

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