£2m Free Derry Museum rebuild now in jeopardy

An artist's impression of how Museum of Free Derry in Glenfada Park will look following its �2 million rebuild. The work was scheduled to have already begun, but now plans to extend and develop the facility, including enhanced educational spaces, are in jeopardy as the Bloody Sunday Trust await Ministerial approval to free up funding. '(Image: Mark McCauley)
An artist's impression of how Museum of Free Derry in Glenfada Park will look following its �2 million rebuild. The work was scheduled to have already begun, but now plans to extend and develop the facility, including enhanced educational spaces, are in jeopardy as the Bloody Sunday Trust await Ministerial approval to free up funding. '(Image: Mark McCauley)
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“An absolute disgrace” is how Bloody Sunday relative Kay Green yesterday described delays jeopardising the entire £2 million rebuild on the Museum of Free Derry.

Plans to redevelop and extend the Glenfada Park facility - which tells the story of Bloody Sunday - were scheduled to begin in recent months.

However, ‘Phase 2’ of the museum’s vision is now under serious threat because of the alleged refusal of DETI Minister Arlene Foster to sign a letter to release the final funding from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. It is understood the letter has been awaiting approval since February 2013.

John Kelly, brother of victim Michael Kelly, said he was “disgusted” at the situation and accused the authorities of “sectarianising and politicising the Bloody Sunday issue yet again.”

“It is scandalous. This is the story of the Bogside itself - a centrepiece of which is naturally Bloody Sunday - so I see this discrimination as an attack on my brother, Michael, and all those who died and were injured that day.”

“Over the years, many have tried to politicise the issue of Bloody Sunday - we are not prepared to accept that anymore. We’ve fought long and hard to make our voices heard and, if need be, we are ready and willing to fight Arlene Foster too.”

A DETI spokeswoman said that the project is “currently being considered”.

“All projects are assessed as part of the approvals process and it is not appropriate to indicate where in the approvals process any projects sits.”