A plaque commemorating the ‘driving force behind the tourism industry’ in Derry, the late Martin McCrossan, is to be erected outside Foyleside Shopping Centre, where, during his life he was a familiar figure leading throngs of visitors on tours through Derry’s historic city centre.
Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Planning Committee unanimously backed plans to erect the memorial in honour of the founder of City Tours, who died suddenly, aged just 53, in February 2015.
The plaque will be placed atop a granite plinth at the corner of Bridge Street and Orchard Street in the city centre and is likely to be in place early in the New Year.
The memorial will bear a photograph of Mr. McCrossan, a ‘Tourism Hero’, who will be remembered by the poignant epitaph: “A true champion and ambassador for the city, the driving force behind the tourism industry who left a lasting positive impression on everyone who met him.”
Speaking after the meeting the SDLP Deputy Mayor, Colr. John Boyle, said: “I think it is truly appropriate and fitting that the City and District Council have been supportive of the idea to locate a commemorative plinth and plaque in honour of Martin McCrossan.
“I had suggested the idea shortly after Martin’s untimely death in 2015 and I now believe that the final hurdle has been overcome in seeing the tribute come to fruition. I am hopeful that Councill officials will expedite the matter by early 2018 and that the plinth will be in place by then.”
The Chair of the Planning Committee, Dan Kelly, said: “This memorial is a fitting tribute to a man who was responsible for his positive promotion of Derry and his tireless work to put Derry and the wider North West region on the map.
“We are delighted that the memorial has been approved and that there will be a permanent structure located in the heart of the city that will reflect his lasting legacy.”