The proposed Southern Relief Road Must incorporate a lifting bridge over Newry Canal to protect and preserve our rich maritime heritage for future generations.

Justin McNulty, MLA has said that the proposed Southern Relief Road must have a lifting bridge to facilitate ships like this one. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Justin McNulty, MLA has said that the proposed Southern Relief Road must have a lifting bridge tocontinue to facilitate ships like this one. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

So says Newry and Armagh MLA Justin McNulty, who was speaking after Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon met with Newry Mourne and Down Councillors to seek views on the Southern Relief Road.

Mr. McNulty said, “I was delighted to hear that the majority view was that the new road should incorporate a lifting bridge over the Newry Canal to facilitate tall ships gaining access to the Albert Basin and the Newry Ship Canal in the future. There will obviously be financial implications with the construction of such a bridge but it would be an important investment in our future and the attractiveness of our city from a tourism and visitor perspective and for local communities.”

“At the weekend on the 5th of December at the Victoria Lock the Newry Maritime Association mark the 80th Anniversary of the loss of “SS Privet” a Fisher’s coal boat returning to Newry from Birkenhead. My own Great Uncle Lorcan Murphy was a 21yr old on that boat along with 8 other seamen and they perished at sea never to return home. The trauma of that loss has been passed down and is still felt by members of my family and I would imagine it is the same for the families of the other men who were lost.”

Huge Credit

“James McArevey and the Newry Maritime Association deserve huge credit for the work they have done in recording and protecting and celebrating our Maritime Heritage. James has organised this event very professionally and thoughtfully and it means so much to my family and the families of the entire SS Privet crew.”

“If we are to commemorate the sinking of a ship like the SS Privet and the men and women who were lost at sea we must not close our city off to the return of similar ships for this or for future generations. That would be short sighted and future generations might never forgive us. There are huge and exciting plans for the development of a 15 Acre Park at the Albert Basin and surely that park’s attractiveness would be enhanced by a facility to moor tall ships nearby and possibly even the creation of a Maritime Heritage Museum.”

“Newry’s Ship Canal was one of the earliest constructed canals in the world and I believe it would be ill advised to close it off to ships for the future generations. Let’s protect, preserve and celebrate or maritime heritage. The Southern Relief Road must incorporate a lifting bridge.”

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