In 2012 a campaign was launched to save Killeavy castle. This started in local media, lead to community meetings and ultimately the formation of Slieve Gullion BPT. The trust was established in order to explore community funding options to save the castle and to protect and preserve other buildings of local and historic significance.
The committee of the trust then liaised with the previous owner, built heritage, and the Irish Landmark Trust to highlight the rapidly decaying plight of Killeavy Castle and to promote its historic significance and the potential its restoration would bring to the local community within the Ring of Gullion.
Recently a number of images and articles have emerged in local press showing political representatives at the front of the castle and blatantly claiming credit and praise for their good works on this project. In fact the same photograph was used last year as propaganda in the run up to the elections. While Slieve Gullion BPT can confirm and indeed thank all of the local councilors, from all parties, for their support and can confirm that some of the meetings were attended by Megan Fearon MLA no other MLA’s attended. Further more Alex Attwood was contacted on numerous occasions both through the group and via Dominic Bradley. At this early stage support and guidance for this project was critical and sadly none was forthcoming. Indeed it was only on the completion of the sale and the subsequent planned development that any interest was shown.
Members of Slieve Gullion BPT put a tremendous amount of time and effort into securing this buildings future and continue to look into other buildings of interest within our area particularly St.Luke’s Church of Ireland in Meigh. Like many volunteers our sole objective is to improve our local community, its environment and the quality of peoples lives. We find that this hijacking of our project for the political gains of individuals extremely insulting and distasteful.
It would be remiss not the mention the exclusion of Gullion from the naming of the new council. There is a huge amount of anger and hurt that our inclusion as a region was not supported. We understand that the SDLP may be feeling the pressure from this outpouring of anger and disappointment however to use this project to claw back some credibility from within the community is unforgivable.
The group would like to again express its delight and excitement at this development especially as it means the main fabric of this beautiful and historic building will be preserved, while the possibility of job creation and tourism will be a huge boost for the whole community. We wish the new owners every success and support.
We would encourage those interested in the history of this magnificent area to follow us on Facebook and to attend our next meeting. We also extend our support to the campaign to have Gullion recognised within the new council name.
Slieve Gullion BPT