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Funding from Peace IV of £50,000 has been secured by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council for Derrymore Demesne, Bessbrook. It was agreed to proceed with the project at last weeks Enterprise, Regeneration and Tourism meeting. Upgrades have recently taken place at Derrymore with a new play area, pathways and car parking facilities added.

The funding will be used to upgrade and extend a section of the trail network within the denesne and to create a Peace Reflection Area at the trail head. The area will contain benches inscribed with messages of peace and reconcilliation from local schoolchildren and will be surrounded by native wildflower.

An additional part of the project will see the missing parts of an iron chain that once connected large boulders withing the demesne reforged and replaced. The plan is for the work to be carried out by people from the local area who would take part in organised blacksmithing workshops. It is hoped that the Blacksmith team will bring a mobile forge to the area to put the links in place.

Commenting on the funding Newry City Councillor, Cllr Roisin Mulgrew said "I just want to put on record my thanks to the officers of this council. When I joined Council a number of years ago, the very first meeting I went to was with the Friends of Derrymore 

"This is one of the examples where the Council has spent time and money and resources and the success has been absolutely phenomonal. I myself have taken part in a number of Darkness into Light walks and sponsored walks for various different charities.  I'm delighted that this Peace money is going to be spent in such a lovely way because it really has become an oasis for everybody in that community and it has been absolutely fantastic to see. 

It is the result of probably nine or ten years work from the officers of this Council and Councillors and without doubt the community group that has been behind it, so I absolutely welcome it, phenomonal success, but I do want to put on record that the officers are continually looking for funding streams to be used in all ongoing projects within this council area and I applaud their committment"

The funding will cover 100% of the work at no cost to the Council.

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