Donegal County Council Logo
Home > Your Council > Communications Office > Press Releases Archive > Press Releases

11/09/18 An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar officially opens Cockhill Bridge

Cockhill bridge unveiling

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar officially opening the new Cockhill Bridge in Buncrana on Tuesday with Minister for State Joe McHugh TD and Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Seamus O’Domhnaill.


An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar today officially opened the new Cockhill Bridge in Buncrana.


This new €3.15 million bridge spans 28 meters with a 7 meter wide carriageway and two walkways and replaces the 200 year old bridge which is being retained to serve as a new pedestrian and cycle crossing of the river as well as an ideal fishing spot.


Speaking at the official opening An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said “I am delighted to be here today in Donegal for the official opening of Cockhill Bridge, which will have a position impact on the daily lives of people living not just in Buncrana but right across the Inishowen peninsula. About 10,000 people will cross the bridge every day, whether it’s getting to and from school and work, or people visiting the area to see the Wild Atlantic Way or Ireland’s most northerly point at Malin Head. I’m really pleased to see the old bridge being retained as a cycling and walking amenity for the local community.

“The Government is committed to investing in this region and local people can be assured that further investment will flow in the coming years through Project Ireland 2040, our national development plan, including increased investment in Donegal’s roads and transport infrastructure. I would like to congratulate all of those involved in bringing this project to fruition - this is a very good day for Buncrana."


The new bridge, funded by the Department of Transport, was designed by Roughan & O’Donovan Consulting engineers.  The substructure is made from reinforced concrete abutments, supported on pads made integral with the deck at the diaphragms.  Precast pre-stressed concrete ‘W’ beams,40 meters in length, with a reinforced concrete deck slab make up the superstructure.


cockhill bridge

The new Cockhill Bridge in Buncrana which was officially opened by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Tuesday.



The bridge was constructed in three phases.  Phase one involved site clearance and formation of roads and this work was completed by Donegal County Council Roads team in Inishowen Municipal District this accelerated the delivery of the project by allowing the project to proceed while a bridge contractor was being procured.  The second phase involved the construction of the bridge structure by Wills Bros Ltd supervised by Roughan & O’Donovan Consulting engineers and Donegal County Council and phase three involved the completion of the approach roads to the bridge and connection of the bridge to the road network and decommissioning of the old bridge.  This work was undertaken by the Council’s Roads team in Inishowen Municipal District.


Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Seamus O’Domhnaill acknowledged the benefits that the bridge is already bringing to the region saying “motorists are already experiencing reduced journey times of 10 minutes between Buncrana and Carndonagh during peak traffic times since this bridge opened earlier this year and in July Ballyliffin hosted the very successful Dubai Duty Free Irish Open with almost 100,000 people attending, this bridge was vital in allowing traffic to flow freely to this event.  


“This type of investment is vital if we are to realise the potential of Donegal and indeed the North West region.  I am confident that this bridge will not only provide a much safer bridge for motorists and pedestrians but will continue to allow for the further development of tourism related business as well as business in general in Inishowen and will help provide the transport infrastructure to meet Inishowen’s potential as a great place to live, work in and visit”. 


Cockhill bridge group

Cathaoirleach of Inishowen MD Cllr. Martin Farren with councillors of the Inishowen Municipal District, Council staff including Senior Engineer Brendan O’Donnell, Senior Executive Engineer Seamus Hopkins and staff from the Council’s Roads and Transportation Directorate who were directly involved in the design and construction of the new Cockhill Bridge in Buncrana which was officially opened by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Tuesday. 


Cathaoirleach of Inishowen Municipal District Cllr. Martin Farren paid tribute to all those who contributed to the construction of the new bridge and acknowledged that for almost 40 years local public representatives  working with the local community have called for a new bridge to replace the narrow old one at Cockhill.


“I would like to commend everyone involved in the construction of this new bridge, from the Consulting Engineers, the building contractors, our own Council staff and most importantly the land owners and local residents and businesses who were so co-operative throughout the construction period”. 


He added “traffic management was a major issue and affected all stakeholders.  Daily life, for quite a number of people and properties and commercial premises, was affected during the construction of the bridge.  The patience and co-operation of all these people helped ensure that the new bridge opened on schedule and this is a massive credit to the landowners, community, local businesses and commuters who use this road daily and we thank you sincerely for this.”


The new Cockhill Bridge was officially opened on Tuesday 11 September 2018 at 12 noon by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.  Minister for State Joe McHugh TD, Deputy Charlie McConalogue TD and Senator Padraig McLochlainn also attended the event.

Rate this Page

Select an option below

Map Services

Map Portal

  • winterweather Image
  • NWGreenway network icon
  • Donegal Tourism Logo
  • Rennet Image
  • NPPR Logo
  • Donegal Gathering Logo
  • Donegal Diaspora Logo
  • Public Art logo
  • Regional Cultural Centre logo
  • Spaceial logo
  • IrishWater
  • LEO