Published Wednesday, 24 October 2012
An artist''s impression of Narrow Water Bridge. (© Department of the Environment)
The money will cover the bulk of the cost of the cable bridge which will link Co Down and Co Louth, and which is expected to open in 2015.
It is hoped the bridge will boost tourism and promote economic growth in the area.
A spokesman for Louth County Council confirmed: "The independent steering committee of the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) has today approved funding of approximately 17.4 million euros from the INTERREG IVA programme."
Environment Minister Alex Attwood called the news a tremendous boost for cross border tourism, trade and relationships.
There is no doubt that the bridge will be a game changer
"Two planning approvals and one funding approval all in one month means it's all systems go," said the SDLP minister.
"The tenacity, diligence and never say die attitude of public representatives in the area, including the Louth and Newry and Mourne Councils has helped bring this project to life. I warmly commend them in that.
"For visitors from the South it will very much act as a gateway to the Mournes and a chance to experience the wonder of our natural, built and Christian heritage.
"Significantly, it is the first cross border bridge built since partition and in that sense it is a positive outcome of the Good Friday Agreement and a potent symbol of the new Ireland."
The single lane cable bridge will be 660m long and will cross the Newry River at Narrow Water to the Omeath Road at the townland of Cornamucklagh, near the village of Omeath.
It will be an opening bridge that allows tall ships, leisure craft and other marine vessels access to the Victoria Lock and the Albert Basin in Newry.
The bridge crosses the Newry River at Narrow Water to the Omeath Road at the townland of Cornamucklagh, near the village of Omeath.