Minister to meet council on Ireland’s Ancient East

CEO of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Marie Ward.CEO of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Marie Ward.
CEO of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Marie Ward.
The Stormont Economy Minister has pledged to meet Newry, Mourne and Down District Council to engage in its vision for an all Ireland global tourism package.

Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy is set to discuss a strategy with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (NMDDC) to have its two county areas included in ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’.

The minster’s decision was announced in chambers on Monday (June 3).

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Local authority CEO, Marie Ward said: “We have received correspondence very, very recently from Minister Murphy in relation to the inclusion of counties Armagh and Down in Ireland’s Ancient East.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council's Newry offices.Newry, Mourne and Down District Council's Newry offices.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council's Newry offices.

“He thanks the council for its correspondence to him and accepted an invitation to meet with the council to discuss the inclusion.

“He said he would be delighted to attend subject to any urgent Stormont Assembly business.”

Newly elected NMDDC chairperson Pete Byrne (SDLP) added: “Well that’s good news all round there.”

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Ireland’s Ancient East is a term coined by the government in the Republic of Ireland to promote the various ancient sites located on the east coast of the country.

NMDDC has been lobbying for some time for the tourism strategy to include counties in the North.

At a committee meeting in April, councillors signed off on an updated strategy for 2024-2029, which positions the district with the tourism strap-line of ‘Ireland’s True Nature’.

The move was greeted by elected members as “opening the door” to Ireland’s Ancient East.