Page last updated at 05:55 GMT, Friday, 6 June 2008 06:55 UK

Waterways plan to unlock loughs

Lough Neagh (picture by Gerd Curley)
The project aims to re-open and link NI's waterways

A new scheme linking waterways from the Irish Sea to the Atlantic Ocean is being unveiled.

The cross-border scheme aims to re-open and link waterways from Belfast Lough to Lough Neagh.

The route would then go via the Ulster Canal to the Erne-Shannon system and the all-Ireland waterways network.

Eventually boats could sail straight from Belfast Lough to County Donegal and then onto the ocean.

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson said he hoped it would encourage both business and tourism.

"There are parts of Northern Ireland, particularly towards the centre, where there is a need for investment and regeneration," said Mr Donaldson.

"And we believe opening up our waterways will bring people and visitors into those areas."

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