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A recent decision by Newry Mourne & Down Council to remove the Bus Shelter  in Cloughreagh has left many in the Cloughreagh and John F Kennedy Park areas very angry according to Slieve Gullion Councillor Roisin Mulgrew.

The local Councillor who on behalf of residents made the request for a Bus Shelter almost two years ago said that she like those who had contacted her were both angry and bewildered.

Councillor Mulgrew stated "This, as Translink can confirm is a particularly busy and well used service. As an elected representative for the area I was asked almost two years ago to have a bus shelter erected to serve the Cloughreagh and Kennedy Park estates.  All procedures were properly followed. It was only after the shelter had started to be installed that a petition was recieved raising concerns of anti-social behaviour. A number of meetings were held with different  agencies including the PSNI who at these meeetings confirmed  that they were unaware of any such incidents at the Shelter"

Cllr Roisin Mulgrew.
Cllr Roisin Mulgrew.

The elected representative continued "On several occasions I have recommended that the Bus Shelter be  completed. I also felt that my request to  monitor the area for any increase in anti social activities was very reasonable and would be seen as doing my best to be fair to anyone who had doubts about the erection of the much needed facility,"

Last week a local youth group carried out an independent survey of 123 homes  with 108 in favour of retaining the shelter. Cllr Mulgrew commented "The Councillors who decided to deny this Bus Shelter  have completely ignored the work by these local young people and also letters of support from older residents with mobility issues and the parents of young children whose only access to travel is by Public Transport."

Ms Mulgrew added "The service is now a stop and hail service and Translink again stated that the were happy with the shelter location and anyone using the shelter would be picked up by the bus. Although it has been suggested  that a new location will be sought, Council officials have clearly stated that this could prove difficult and will not cater for the majority of residents whereas the current location was central.

"Those who voted to deny the Cloughreagh community of the use of this Bus Shelter have denied the vast majority of the people that I represent the very Services which they fight for in their own communities. This area has suffered much deprivation for many generations, however  over recent years people from within this community have stepped forward and shown great leadership and commitment to encourage a new sense of pride and ownership of the area. To deny our most vulnerable, the old and young families, access to protection from inclement weather whilst they wait on a public service with unfounded claims of anti social activities is nothing short of a disgrace"

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