Anger over Canal Street damage
Tuesday, 17 June 2014
The owner of Newry's oldest continuous trading premises has branded what is going on at at the town's Canal Street "a disgrace."
The street was closed by the Police on Saturday afternoon last due to a building in danger of collapse. Motorists and pedestrians have been advised to avoid the area until further notice.
The building in question is the former convent building which was most previously used by the South Ulster Housing Association, the Democrat understands that the building is scheduled to be demolished.
Mr Bertie Flynn, the proprietor of Sinead's of Newry, outlined the situation. His premises has had a business occupancy for 260 years on Canal street. Mr Flynn said: "This area is an A1 listed conservation area. The street was originally made for two and a half tonne horse and carts and not for juggernauts. There is a sign at the bottom of Canal street and all around the area. The street should not be used by vehicles which are heavier than 7.5 tonnes.
“But the lorries just come up all the time and it is the heavy vehicles which have caused the damage. You can hear them vibrating the walls.
“The street is a short cut for the lorries. If they come up here from the docks, they can go straight to Armagh or mid-Ulster. If they go out the Belfast road they have to do a detour to get out there - to go right around. They are only permitted to come in again at the five ways roundabout. From the five ways to the bottom of Canal street is a restricted area," he said.
“What I would like to know is, has there ever been anyone fined for flouting this restriction? It is a disgrace what goes on. The lorry companies seem to be a law onto themselves," he added.
Mr Flynn also confirmed that his own building has been damaged.
“The front of our building is cracked and it is Newry's oldest continuous trading building. The footpaths are also being damaged. The area is already very polluted and it is just getting worse.
"Canal street has the highest grade that you can get for conservation. It is not just the buildings - the whole area is unique. It is an old Irish Street laid out in the traditional way. It is the last such street left in the town. The first public baths were here and the first cinema. The RIC station where Eamonn De Valera was taken to was here," he continued.
The Democrat contacted Newry and Mourne Council's Environmental Health Department but did not receive a response at time of going to press.
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