Newry.ie

Opinion

Ireland's Only City Without a Park will still have that not so impressive title in 2024 and possibly a lot longer unless those making the decisions decide to speed things along, because you know, it's sort of important for a lot of people!

Emerging news that it would be 2024 before work will possibly start on the Albert Basin Park Site in Newry is hard to take in, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic when open spaces or rather the lack of them in Newry is a disaster evident for all to see. Now is the time. Newry residents are crying out for some green space in the city they call home.

The Albert Basin Park Project, an of-shoot of Newry 2020 who have been campaigning for the city park since 2014 announced yesterday that a timeline produced at a Park Task and Finish Meeting this week stated that no work would be done on the site until 2024 at the earliest - A full ten years after the group started campaigning!

Alarm Bells

Alarm bells are beginning to ring. Young Skateboarders campaigned tirelessly for a Skatepark in Newry 20 Years Ago, something that they were led to believe they could get, but 20 years later and young no longer the Skatepark still hasn't materialised. Is this the route that our Newry City Park is going down?

Every political representative, almost without exception calls the park a priority for Newry but words are cheap - Dreams Need Action and Action does speak much louder than words.

It's nearly 3 years since every single councillor on Newry, Mourne and Down Council voted and agreed unanimously to provide a 15 acre public park at the Albert Basin. Today I feel that the project is being delayed at every turn. Even the important Task and Finish meetings are only held four times a year ... for a project that everyone is supposed to be taking seriously.


One positive movement forward in the middle of the gloom is a public consultation which will help shape how the park looks, is now complete and the draft results have been shared with the task and finish group, but even those results have to go before a meeting in September for approval and then have to wait for the council meeting in October for Final Approval.

Finance never has and never will be an issue for building this park. Funding for these type of projects comes from a cocktail of organisations with most likely the council having to pay 10% or under of the total cost.

All that is really stopping the project is the genuine will to do it by those entrusted with the ownership of the Albert Basin on behalf of us!

Three years after a park was agreed there is absolutely NO REASON the the site could not be used as a location for a Pop Up Park - A way to show us lot that Council are genuinely serious about providing the facility.

Why are we Waiting

Please everyone lobby your local representatives to get this essential project speeded up. If any of you have any suggestions how us mere mortals can help make the park happen quicker, we would love to hear from you.



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