In the Dáil on 19 June 2012, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin (Cork South Central) complained that there was not enough northsouthery:
[…] We have had good relations since the Good Friday Agreement and there have been good initiatives under the various North-South bodies and agencies that were subsequently established, from InterTradeIreland to the Food Safety Promotion Board and from Tourism Ireland to Waterways Ireland. In the early days, these had concrete, substantive, project-based achievements that delivered considerable momentum. Nothing of that calibre is in evidence currently.
With the British Government and the Northern Executive, will the Taoiseach commit to examining the North-South agenda seriously, in particular the review of North-South bodies, which has been waiting for some time to be signed off on? What are the conclusions of the review and what is the Government’s response to an additional North-South agency?
Taoiseach Enda Kenny (FG, Mayo) replied:
There was no conclusion at the meeting on Friday about additional bodies. Clearly, there were a number of issues outstanding in regard to some of the existing bodies. For instance, the Minister, Deputy Deenihan, committed to working with his counterpart in respect of the continued planning of the Erne Canal, which has been an issue for a very long time. There is no funding for it now, but there is no reason to believe one cannot put in place a strategy and a plan to open it. It would have enormous implications for tourism.
For “Erne” read “Ulster”: the NSMC decided not to extend Waterways Ireland’s remit so Ireland’s most insane current canal proposal is not on WI’s things-to-do list. The Ulster Canal is only rhe second most insane current canal proposal, although there is a new competitor entering the field.