Dungiven leisure centre campaigners at Stormont

Group from the Dungiven leisure centre lobby group who met with Martin McGuinness MLA, centre, and Cathal O hOis�n MLA, far left, at Stormont on Tuesday. Included are Kieran McKeever, chair, Mary Cooke, St Canice's Ladies, Paul McCloskey, boxer, Seamus Harkin, Dungiven Celtic, Eugene Henry, Kevin Lynch's CLG, and Patsy Donaghy, St Patrick's Camogie Club.
Group from the Dungiven leisure centre lobby group who met with Martin McGuinness MLA, centre, and Cathal O hOis�n MLA, far left, at Stormont on Tuesday. Included are Kieran McKeever, chair, Mary Cooke, St Canice's Ladies, Paul McCloskey, boxer, Seamus Harkin, Dungiven Celtic, Eugene Henry, Kevin Lynch's CLG, and Patsy Donaghy, St Patrick's Camogie Club.

Campaigners who want a new sports and leisure centre in Dungiven in Co. Derry took their case to Stormont today.

The move follows Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s decision to vote against the plan for the £2.8 million scheme.

The project has been in the pipeline for a number of years.

However, at a meeting of the Council last week, councillors voted by 20 to 17 against it.

More than 500 people attended a public meeting in the Co. Derry town on Monday evening to voice their anger at the move.

Local Sinn Fein MLA Cathal Ó hOisín said the turnout was indicative of “local anger about unionist councillors turning down £2.5 million of Executive funding” for the new leisure centre.

He added: “The people of Dungiven and the surrounding area deserve the same services and facilities as all other ratepayers.

“I hosted a delegation from Dungiven, which included representatives of several sporting clubs from the area, at Stormont today to explore ways of ensuring this project is completed as planned.

“We met with deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and also with Culture, Arts and Leisure Minister Carál Ní Chuilín, whose department provided funding for the project.”

Unionists say their opposition to the plan is due to a shortfall in funding for it.

It is understood the facilities, in the Curragh Road area of Dungiven, would have all been located on one site and would have included halls, a gym and 3G facilities.