New housing on site of prominent MP's home

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA, Karen Mullan, has welcomed the completion of new homes constructed on the site where late Nationalist political giant, Eddie McAteer once lived.

Wednesday, 17th October 2018, 9:14 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th October 2018, 10:20 am
Karen Mullan MLA and Councillor Kevin Campbell with representatives of Clanmill Housing.

The new complex, on the corner of Marlborough Street and Beechwood Avenue, consists of 12 one and two bed units.

Karen Mullan said: “As a local resident I welcome that transformation of what was once a vacant scar site which blighted this area for years.

“On this land once stood the home of leading Derry Nationalist politician Eddie McAteer.

“I visited the site with Councillor Kevin Campbell and we were pleased to see the time and effort that went into the design of these homes to complement the rest of the street. It is also great news that these new homes will shortly be allocated.”

Eddie McAteer (right) was elected unopposed as the Nationalist Party MP for Mid Londonderry in 1945. He opened his maiden speech in Stormont in Irish but was interrupted by then Prime Minister Sir Basil Brooke who stated that no “foreign language” could be spoken in the House.

He was elected to the then Derry Corporation in 1951, before becoming the Foyle representative in the NI House of Commons. He later became leader of the Nationalist Party at Stormont and was to the fore of the campaign for a university in Derry and others on housing problems, gerrymandering and religious discrimination in employment.

He lost his seat in 1969 to John Hume but remained active in politics and following his death in March, 1986 was remembered as a political giant who used his talents unselfishly to serve his people.

Some of the estimated 25,000 who took part in the University for Derry Campaign Motorcade from Derry pose on the steps of Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast, on 18 February 1965. The campaign was lead by (from left) Eddie McAteer, Nationalist MP for Foyle, Albert Anderson, Mayor of Derry, and John Hume, campaign organiser. This last ditch effort to secure the new university for Derry failed as on March 4 1965 the Stormont Parliament voted in favour of the Lockwood Report's choice, Coleraine.