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An application for Planning Permission has been made for a housing proposal in Canal Street in Newry that would see 11 new homes developed in what has become a run-down part of the city although in the past the building concerned 'hosted' none other than Taioseach and former President Eamon De Valera!

The site on Canal Street, Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/

The application in the name of Glena Developments, Newry is for "Partial demolition, extension and alteration of existing to provide 9 No Apartments and 2 No Dwellings.

The premises involve number 12 Canal Street, a former RIC Barracks in Newry which in more recent years was occupied by Wylie Electrical and number 14 Canal Street.

A drawing of what the proposed Canal Street housing development would look like.

In the strange 'claim to fame' Eamon De Valera who had been involved in the 1916 Easter Rising was arrested for crossing the border in 1924 and it appears he spent time in a cell in number 12 Canal Street, the RIC Barracks at the time! De Valera was taken from Canal St RIC station to Adavoyle halt and put on a train back to Dublin. Years later he became the longest serving Taoiseach before becoming President, so it obviously didn't do him much harm!

At present several other building projects are in progress in the area. Rennovation work is already underway next door to the site and work has started on the site of Ogle House in Canal Street where 9 new apartments are to be built. Permission is also being sought for 35 apartments and retail units on the former P&R Motors site just around the corner and across the road for 13 apartments at the former O'Hare's Bar/ Millies/ Rosie O'Grady's  at 29-31 Canal Street.

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