“The Council has work to do to win the hearts and minds of the people of Newry and the community in relation to the regeneration of Abbey Way.”
A joint comment following a meeting between Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Chief Executive Marie Ward and Archbishop Eamon Martin, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dromore.
The two met to discuss the proposed development of Newry Civic Hub abd to address parishioners concerns on tnbe potential impact the new developnment would have on the City’s Cathedral.
“Ms Ward said, “The meeting with Archbishop Eamon Martin, was open and transparent, we discussed among other things the challenges that have occurred in relation to the proposed development of the Newry Civic Hub. It was acknowledged that a level of trust has been damaged between the Council and members of the Cathedral Parish community. The Archbishop and myself fervently agreed that we want to work together to rebuild that trust.”
Ms Ward continued, “The Council has listened to the concerns of the parish and local businesses in relation to car parking and will present options to stakeholders in early 2022 that we believe will address those concerns.”
“As a Council, it is vitally important and is our desire to work with the community and the parish in a progressive manner during this exciting phase of development and delivery. As we move through the design phases there will be opportunities for the local community and the parish to shape aspects of the project.”
Archbishop Eamon Martin set out the concerns of the parish and the business community in relation to the development of the Abbey Way Site, “On behalf of my parishioners, I wish to convey in particular their concerns, which I understand are shared by a number of business representatives, regarding car parking and any potential impact the new development would have on the historical setting of the city’s Cathedral.”
Archbishop Martin added, “It is crucial that I communicate to the Council on behalf of the parish and the diocese, the significance and importance of the Cathedral and its surrounds. As their Apostolic Administrator, it is important that I raise their concerns and do what I can to help rebuild a way forward in working with the Council.”
The Archbishop also said that he would encourage the parish and business community to consider and contribute to the opportunities of regeneration that are being presented at this time.
Archbishop Eamon Martin and Ms Ward concluded the meeting by agreeing that the Council has work to do to win the hearts and minds of the people of Newry and the community in relation to the regeneration of Abbey Way.”