Environment minister in Magilligan visit

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan with MLA John Dallat, SDLP East Derry candidate Gerry Mullan with Mark Canning at his uncle's thatched cottage in Magilligan.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan with MLA John Dallat, SDLP East Derry candidate Gerry Mullan with Mark Canning at his uncle's thatched cottage in Magilligan.

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The SDLP candidate for East Derry, Gerry Mullan, has called for “a co-ordinated plan to restore our built heritage and protect our environment, including our coastline”.

During a visit by the Environment Minister Mark H Durkan to Magilligan this week, Colr. Mullan had the opportunity to take the minister to visit a 18th century cottage in Magilligan, which is in danger of being lost if grant aid if not found to undertake major restoration of this beautiful cottage, he said.

“There is now a golden opportunity with the new Causeway Coast and Glens super council to take seriously issues relating to our built heritage and our environment. These issues, including coastal erosion had no co-ordinated approach in the past.‘I was delighted the Minister for the Environment Mark H Durkan was able to come to Magilligan to see for himself a good example of a 18th century cottage which I believe passionately must be saved as part of our built heritage. While we were there we were entertained to tea and scones and had a rare opportunity to experience what life must have been like when this cottage was in its prime,” he said.

“The Minister is now looking at ways in which assistance can be sought to make a start in the process of saving this building for future generations.

“Our second call was to Magilligan Point where there is very worrying signs of coastal erosion which is repeated right round the Causeway Coast. Again, I believe the new council has a critical co-ordinating role to play in finding solutions to these issues and identifying the money which is needed to protect the coastline from future damage. I have already raised this issue at a meeting of the new council.

“Our built heritage and our coastline are critical parts of our environment, so important to our tourist industry. It is my intention to ensure that the proper mechanisms are put in place to ensure proactive action is taken in a planned way to ensure that we don’t leave behind a legacy of neglect where so much could be lost for ever.”