RESIDENTS of Ballyholland came out in their droves on Saturday to protest against the closing of an access gate to a new play-park which they believe will lead to tragedy.
With Independent Councillors Gavin Malone and Jarlath Tinnelly and Alliance Party Newry Representative Helena Young in attendance, the local residents were neither perturbed or disturbed by the inclement weather, as they held a peaceful demonstration against the closing of a gate that gave local children safe access to the local play-park, the community centre and the Ballyholland GAA club.
The residents fear that if the gate was to be closed for any length of time it would put children in danger, as it would force them to go onto the busy Betty's Hill Road to gain access to any of those three facilities, a situation Residents Group spokesperson Louise Quinn branded “unacceptable.”
Speaking to The Democrat at the rally, Ms Quinn said that Betty's Hill Road was “not fit for purpose” and stated that the safety of children in the area was at the forefront of their campaign.
“Our sole purpose of this is child safety, the safety of our children, the children of our community. Innisfree Park access is the safest route for children to access the newly positioned play-park, the community centre and GAA grounds,” said Ms Quinn.
“The closure of the gate inevitably increases the number of pedestrians, namely children and young people on Betty's Hill Road, in order to access the play-park, the community centre and the GAA grounds.