Sinn Féin Group leader and Councillor for the Slieve Gullion area has welcomed the decision to give residents of the district a free entry pass to the Forest Parks, including Slieve Gullion, while extending a small levy to visitors from outside the district.
Commenting after a meeting of the Strategic Finance Working Group this evening Cllr O’Muirí said:
“I’m pleased that we were able to get this proposal passed this evening.
“This was a priority issue for Sinn Féin to resolve to ensure that families across the district have fair access to facilities no matter where they live.
“The motion, proposed by my colleague, Cllr Cathy Mason will see every household across the district given a pass to grant them free entry to our forest parks, while placing a small levy on those who visit our facilities from outside the district.
“We propose that the money raised from this be ring fenced for the protection, maintenance and upkeep of our parks.
“We believe that this proposal not only enhances the ability of our local community to get outside and enjoy our stunning surroundings; but importantly it also helps to make our local tourism industry, which has grown significantly in recent years, much more sustainable.
“We believe that this solution is the best outcome for workers and families across Newry, Mourne and Down.
“Given the current cost of living crisis it was imperative that families could continue to use these facilities for their physical and mental wellbeing, but also that it did not fall to locals to pay for the upkeep of these facilities.