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The inside of the tunnel leading to Heather Park in Newry which was used on the way to the gallows by many unfortunate people both innocent and guilty. Photograph: Columba O'HareNewry was a very different place in the 17th and 18th Centuries and one of the connections to that troubled time in our history is the tunnel that leads from the back of the Bank of Ireland premises on Trevor Hill to Heather Park or Gallows Hill whichever you prefer.

The unfortunate condemned prisoners were taken through the darkness up through the narrow tunnel and I would imagine they emerged out into the bright light of day and noise of a crowd on Gallows Hill before being dispatched to the next world in the full glare of the population of Newry.

The tunnel is sealed from the public at present and has been for many years. I've no recollection of seeing a photograph from inside it so unless you know different this is the first one!

As part of our Newry 2020 project - See www.newry.ie/news/latest-news/2051-newry-2020-a-vision-for-our-city-s-future to help encourage debate and action to make our city a true city to be proud of, we would love to see the tunnel re-opened and used as the focal point for visitors and locals exploring Newry's incredible past.

It has to rank as the most unnerving place in Newry.

Believe it or not the two tiny black dots at the bottom middle of the picture are from the eyes of a Black Cat, at least I think it was a black cat - I wouldn't bet my life on it!

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