Minister doesn’t need convincing – Dallat

East Derry MLA John Dallat hopes the model which injected funding into the Portrush area ahead of the Irish Open Golf to tackle dereliction can be replicated in Dungiven.

The SDLP assemblyman said the scheme worked well in partnership with Coleraine Council.

“It couldn’t come at a better time because smaller towns are struggling for survival and the dereliction is continuing, as we experienced in the aftermath of that awful development period where buildings were purchased and there’s no future for them and they’re in the hands of liquidators and something needs to be done,” said Mr. Dallat.

“However, I think we have to remain optimistic and don’t follow trends of other parts of the world where small towns are annihilated and we end up with neither the butcher or the baker because that’s not Irish and our rural life,” he said.

Mr. Dallat believed it wasn’t hard to persuade the minister that Dungiven, and parts of Limavady needed derliction funding “but he has to persuade other colleagues in the Executive that this is a worthwhile project and I hope that vision of everything happening in Belfast spills over from Glengormley and towns like Limavady and Dungiven can benefit from having a local assembly.”

SDLP Colr. Michael Coyle, who was accompanied by party colleagues Orla Beattie, Gerry Mullan and party activist Oonagh McNickle, said the minister gave a “very positive and encouraging message” for Limavady and Dungiven.

“We are grateful for the Minister’s visit and that he was convinced of the need to address the problems in both towns,” said Colr. Coyle. “We look forward to his input in the Borough working with his fellow ministers to bring some much needed finances to enhance the streets of Limavady and Dungiven.”