For locals who have being advocating more offerings to entice visitors to Newry,  it looks like there really could be some 'light at the end of the Tunnel.'

Plans have been submitted that if approved would make Newry's historic Gallows Hill Tunnel at Heather Park a world class tourist attraction.

The Gallows Hill Tunnel in Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/
The Gallows Hill Tunnel in Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/

A historic gem, the tunnel was the last walk for many people as they made their way from their cell to the gallows in the 18th century. It is alleged that the tunnel starts behind the Bank of Ireland and emerges at the top of Heather Park. It's hoped that excavation work at the site as part of the application will prove this conclusively.

The £3.5M project will see a 500 square metre interpretive centre complete with restaurant built on a site just behind the Bank of Ireland, with permanent multi dimensional hanging displays documenting the history of Gallows Hill and the very interesting people of the time.

The proposed works include almost doubling the tunnel in width according to a submitted planners drawing, to enable service vehicles to enter. The application states "Construction of two-storey interpretive centre with restaurant on first floor, demolition of existing tunnel, rebuild to spec with provision of access tunnel, 2x emergency exits, mood lighting and ancillary works."

The Application has been submitted by Florapoli Construction, Banbridge.

It's believed that well known American restaurant chain Hooters are in advanced discussion with the applicants to run the restaurant.

Check out the present tunnel in the video below.

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