£260k funding boost for Killeavy Castle development

June 20, 2016

The historic Killeavy Castle is to undergo major regeneration and conservation works after funding approval from Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has triggered the beginning of the ambitious project.

South Armagh MLA Megan Fearon welcomed news after the recommendation proposed by her party colleague Councillor Terry Hearty saw the Council approve £260,000 for the scheme.

“This is a fantastic project that will not only see that the 200-year-old castle is conserved and redeveloped, but will also lead to redevelopment work of the surrounding area and create at least 83 new jobs,” Ms Fearon said.

“Our councillors have been to the fore on this project and ensured it remained on the new Council’s agenda while both myself and Conor Murphy have met with the owner numerous times to discuss ways of pushing the initiative forwards.

“This is a huge project but one that will have enormous benefits for the local area and as such there is also the possibility of securing other funding from sources such as Invest NI and the Rural Development Programme secured by Michelle O’Neill.”

Councillor Terry Hearty said the project would pay huge dividends for the area.

“Tourism has the potential to be a huge economic driver for this area, which is why Sinn Féin pushed for the creation of a tourism specific committee,” he said.

“We have seen what a meaningful investment can do for local resources like Slieve Gullion and we believe we can make a similar success out of a redeveloped Killeavy Castle.  Not only will this project see the conservation and development of the castle, it will also see other projects such as viewing stations created, further development of walkways in the area and public access to the Walled Garden.

“We live in one of the most historic and beautiful parts of the country; we know that and with the right investment the rest of Ireland will know it as well,” he added.