Newry & Armagh MLA Conor Murphy has said that there is great disappointment within the Camlough community at the failure by the Special EU Programme Body  SEUPB to support the application for a Peace Centre in the village.

The Newry and Armagh MLA explained, “Six years of work has gone into the application for a Peace Centre for south Armagh. Newry Mourne & Down Council was the lead partner along with the Camlough Community Association and Altnaveagh House.

"I share the deep disappointment at this rejection of funding support. The   SEUPB has poured significant amounts of capital into areas that were relatively peripheral to the ‘Troubles’ at the expense of areas that are still dealing with the legacy of the conflict.

"Many people, myself included feel that  SEUPB continues to neglect the south Armagh region which has borne the brunt of 30 years of conflict”.

The Sinn Féin candidate for the upcoming Local Elections Oonagh  Magennis spoke of her dismay at the news.

“I am well aware of the diverse vibrant community and sporting  activities that happen within the Camlough locality.

Cllr Roisin Mulgrew & Oonagh Magennis pictured at the proposed greenfield site for the Centre in Camlough
Cllr Roisin Mulgrew & Oonagh Magennis pictured at the proposed greenfield site for the Centre in Camlough

"This area in particular has been adversely affected by the conflict here in the North in terms of social and economic advancement,cross community interaction and mobility and physical dereliction.

"Those involved with the Community  Association have sought in partnership with others to create a Peace Centre in Camlough. The project intended to create an iconic mixed- use site on an existing and currently unused greenfield site in the village.

"Camlough is almost certainly one of  the busiest village’s within the Slieve Gullion area, yet is the only village to have no community hub. This is a grossly intolerable situation which cannot be allowed to continue.

"People in the village will redouble their efforts to ensure a community facility is built and operational in the foreseeable future”

Meanwhile Slieve Gullion area Councillor Róisín Mulgrew has confirmed that she has requested that a meeting with Council Officials, The Camlough Community Association, and Slieve Gullion area Councillors to agree a way forward.

“I have requested this meeting to agree a way forward. Our Council needs to ensure that we meet our responsibilities to the residents of the wider Camlough area to create a community centre.

"For too long the young people of the village have been left with no premises to have youth clubs while other sports clubs such as the Boxing club are forced to continue with facilities which are not fit for purpose”.

Cllr Mulgrew added “The Camlough Community Association is to be commended for their unwavering dedication and commitment to deliver a community hub. The onus is now on Council  to now step up and deliver this hub which is crucial to the development of a cohesive, healthy, confident and vibrant community."

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