The North’s Environment Minister has suspended work on the installation of a new lighting scheme on Derry’s historic Walls.
Alex Attwood issued the directive after a local community organisation voiced concern at “damage” caused to a section of the 400 year old walls during works to illuminate them.
The Holywell Trust claimed the work - which involved slots being cut into the City Walls at East Wall - was “compromising the historic fabric of the ancient ramparts.”
The Holywell Trust had brought the issue to the attention of both the Department of the Environment and Derry City Council at the weekend and lobbied to have ongoing work on Monday suspended.
Speaking after the Minister’s intervention, Mark Lusby, Project Co-ordinator for the Holywell Trust’s City Walls Heritage Project, commented: “The overall lighting scheme is a good initiative which will increase public safety and access to the City Walls.
“We have thanked the DOE Minister for his personal interest in the heritage of the City Walls. We also asked him to ensure that his officials involve heritage organisations, like the Holywell Trust and the Foyle Civic Trust, in any discussions about the remedial work required.”
Mr. Lusby added: “It is important that everyone involved in future schemes for the City Walls, from designers to contractors, have awareness training on the heritage value of the Walls. Everyone working on the City Walls needs to be a guardian of the historic fabric of the monument.