£155,000 to repair site of Walker’s pillar

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A £155,000 renovation of Royal Bastion - the former site of Walker’s Pillar, which was blown up by the IRA 45 years ago last month - is to get underway next spring.

Planning approval for the spruce-up was granted by Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday.

The works will include repairs to stonework and railings, the removal of graffiti and the replacement of an unsightly door and stairs.

Stonework cleaning and the installation of new interpretative panels that will relate the present-day cityscape to the story of the Siege of Derry are also proposed.

The work has the backing of both the Friends of the Derry Walls and the Siege Heroes Museum.

Damian Mulholland, Director of the North West Development Office at DfC said: “The funding from the Department will enable much needed restoration works to be completed to the Plinth and Royal Bastion.

“These works will facilitate improved access to the monument, which provides unique views over the City, and will make an important contribution to the physical regeneration of the City Walls.

“The interpretative panels to be installed will further enhance the visitor experience and will help develop an understanding of the history of the city.”

DC&SDC Mayor, Colr. John Boyle said: “I am delighted that Council has been working in partnership with interested groups to carry out this much needed and important restoration work that when completed will make the historic Plinth more accessible to the public and enhance the ongoing work we are doing to enhance our physical regeneration and tourism offering.

“This work would not be possible without the funding that has been provided by the Department for Communities. A key element of the work will also be the positive impact it will have on social cohesion between different factions of the local community through the use of interpretation and animation.”