Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Councillor criticizes dilapidated condition of Lough Ross amenity site

The decline in proper maintenance of the Council-owned Lough Ross Amenity Site near Crossmaglen has allowed the facility to fall into a state of disrepair, its dilapidated appearance described as “totally unacceptable” by the area’s Sinn Fein Councillor Terry Hearty.

Mr Hearty invited Council officials to visit the site recently and see for themselves the conditions of facilities with a view to addressing the issues raised.

Describing the unkempt condition of the popular beauty spot, councillor Hearty said: “The picnic benches were green with moss and have not been painted in years, the granite seats that were installed a number of years ago are also green with moss and looked as if they never have been washed.  The footpaths were filthy and covered in weeds. The embankment where families sit to view the lough only recently had its first cut of the year, and was covered in the grass cuttings and nettles and thistles.  There are no litter bins in the whole of the amenity area.”

With no regular clean-up operation in place at the site, litter has been left strewn across rocks at the edge of the lake, he said.

Mr Hearty also flagged up the dangerous condition of perimeter gates that he claims “have rotted away”, and raised “serious concerns” about the toilet facilities. “I believe that even the Council officials were shocked at how run down the amenity looks.  I had a frank discussion with them and told them clearly that this would not be accepted in any other part of this Council area and it is certainly not

acceptable to us.

“This is the only Council water amenity we have from Camlough Lake to Culloville, which is a large area of south Armagh.  The condition and maintenance of it is totally unacceptable. 

“Following my discussions with Council, an assurance has been made that the walkways would be power washed and sprayed for weeds, the picnic benches would be cleaned down and painted, the area would be litter picked and the weeds through the embankment would be sprayed and the grass area better maintained.  

“A commitment to replace the dangerous and unsightly gates and to revamp the toilets within the next financial year was also given,” he added.