The need for a rail connection down these parts is something myself and the independents on council have raised consistently – despite the naysayers.
Indeed it’s been an issue I’ve pushed for many years now. Before the last Assembly election – thanks to encouragement from the likes of local rail enthusiast Selwyn Johnston (who has been fighting this cause for this for decades) I published estimates of how much a rail extension to Enniskillen would cost – calculations supplied to me by Unite shop stewards working in NI Rail.
Indeed as a result of my pushing the issue consistently, Unite in Northern Ireland raised a rail connection to Fermanagh as an example of the sort of public investment project that could be taken forward by a Labour government when they met with former party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
His team were looking for capital infrastructural projects that would be transformative – and they certainly grasped its significance for the south west. Sadly that wasn’t to be!
A rail connection would be transformative for tourism and connectivity in the Southwest. If coupled to a broad process of electrification it would reduce the environmental pollution associated with privatised transport and encourage remote working and a renaissance of rural communities here.