West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Mc Hugh disappointed as Derg loses out on derelict building funding as Tyrone Fleadh approaches

Published: 5 February, 2013

Following yesterday's announcement by the SDLP Minisiter Alex Attword to provide funding of £1m to over-hall local 'eyesores', Sinn Féin Cllr Ruairí Mc Hugh has questioned why the Derg has been left out of this scheme in light of the fact that it is due to host the Tír Eoghain County Fleadh at the end of June. Cllr Mc Hugh said, "Proposed works on prioritized sites in the Derg formed part of the funding application from Strabane District to the DoE Derelict Building Fund. Given that the town will be hosting the Tír Eoghain Fleadh in June of this year and given that we will be welcoming thousands of visitors to the area over a 4 day period, an over-hall of derelict sites in the town would have been an additional timely boost to the local economy. "The Minister has previously prioritized such funding to areas were major events were being hosted such as Derry, Portrush and now Fermanagh which is now taking the lions share of the 1 million announced yesterday because it is hosting the G8 'Leaders' summit in the summer" "However, it seems as if the SDLP Minister does not deem the Tyrone Fleadh as an event to warrant such a priority despite how big an occasion it is for the host community, participants and visitors alike and this is extremely disappointing particularly given the fact that Strabane District Council submitted a large number of applications to this fund for work on prioritised buildings and sites not only in the Derg but also in Strabane Town, Newtownstewart, Plumbridge, Sion Mills and Donemana. "It has been members of the Minister's own party locally who have been fond of getting themselves pictured beside derelict sites in local town centres across the district and demanding that Council takes action to revamp these sites. It is therefore somewhat ironic that it is their own Minister who is now setting back Council's efforts in this regard. "However, in Strabane Council I and my party have been, and will continue to be, pro-active in endeavouring to secure a variety of funding streams to address the issue of derelict buildings and to secure environmental enhancement schemes for Castlederg and other towns and villages across our District."