Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Councillors urged to support Albert Basin park motion 

SDLP Slieve Gullion councillor Pete Byrne has called on his fellow councillors on Newry Mourne and Down District Council to fully support proposals for a public park at Newry’s Albert Basin when the motion is debated at tonight’s (Monday) Council meeting.

Describing the occasion as “an exciting and historic night”, Councillor Byrne says the people of Newry have been “waiting decades” for a public park, something every other city in Ireland has.

“Newry is an urban area which is in dire need of green spaces and this has been clearly detrimental to the public who are missing out on the recreational and health benefits that a city park would bring. There is also a clear demand for the park to be realised as evidenced by the extraordinary grassroots campaign which caught the public’s imagination,” he said.

Mr Byrne commended the Newry 2020 campaign group for its efforts, particularly its visual example of what a city park would look like on the Albert Basin site.

“Their vision clearly illustrates that the park will be one for young and old, truly a people’s park. The group has gone to significant efforts to engage the public, particularly on social media, sending myself and other representatives a clear message that a park must be delivered.”

Pledging SDLP support in favour of the motion, Councillor Byrne called on all political parties to ensure the plan for a city park at Albert Basin “is finally realized”.

“I genuinely believe that to go against public opinion on an Albert Basin Park would be to betray the people of Newry who have waited so long for this moment,” he added.