Republican Party Saoradh has praised the residents of Derrybeg in Newry for rightfully rejecting plans that would have seen the destruction of a popular green area within the estate.
BMX Ireland and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council [NMDDC] had planned to build a BMX track adjacent to the Camlough Rd and beside Second Avenue in the estate, a move that created widespread opposition from the local community.
Local residents got behind a community based campaign which was spearheaded by Saoradh members and local community workers. We are delighted to say that as a result this development is no longer going ahead and the green area has been saved.
Veteran Derrybeg community worker, and local Saoradh activist, Anthony Coyle organised the campaign, Anthony explained “This facility would only have been opened once a month for competitions and would have been off limits to local children and residents alike, in other words it would be a” closed shop”.
“On the occasions that it would have been opened this would have resulted in an increase in traffic coming through the area and would have worsened an already dire parking situation in the estate.
“The area in question that was proposed for the BMX facilty is also a memorial area dedicated to deceased Derrybeg residents. It is an area popular with dog walkers and children, along with those who want to have some quiet time to reflect on the memory of their loved ones. In an abhorrent move BMX Ireland and NMDDC sought to take this space away from our community.
“With that in mind a grassroots campaign was organised in order to save our precious green area. This non-political campaign was made up of ordinary local residents, political activists and community workers alike.“
Coyle continued “We helped organise public meetings and lobbied local residents, along with the community association we also went round the doors with a petition opposing the move, we distributed leaflets, and erected banners. Our campaigning forced the council to launch a public consultation regarding the proposed development.
“We are pleased to announce that these plans have now been scrapped thanks to all the hard work and campaigning.
“Surely BMX Ireland along with NMDDC can find an alternative location that isn’t in a housing estate, a location that won’t have a negative impact on the local area.”
Anthony concluded by expressing gratitude to the local community “We would like to thank the local residents and the Derrybeg Community Association for ensuring that one of the few remaining green areas has been saved for future generations. Once again the decent people of Derrybeg have stood strong.”