The Area Learning Community, which represents 15 secondary and grammar schools in the Newry and Mourne area, threw its weight behind the campaign for the Albert Basin Park Project this week when it voted to endorse the growing call for shared open space in Newry.
Recognising the importance of healthy environments, Our Lady’s Grammar School principal Fiona McAlinden stated “The welfare of students is a top priority at Our Lady’s, and research shows that green space and proper recreational facilities are essential for the development of children and teenagers. We are delighted to support this campaign, which promises to make Newry a healthier and happier place for young people.”
Declan Murray, principal of St Joseph’s High School, also welcomed the initiative: “This is a very exciting community project, and something are very pleased to be involved in. A high quality shared space will help to promote a sense of belonging and civic pride, and the Albert Basin is an ideal location given its special role in Newry’s history. This project presents a great opportunity for our students and other young people in the community.”
Newry 2020 chairperson Brian Cleland said he was delighted to receive the endorsement of the schools. “We are very grateful for the support of the education sector. Once again we are overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the local community for a healthier, happier Newry. The next step will be to work with students to help shape the vision and to make sure that it becomes a reality.”
This latest boost to the project follows a recent statement of support from local GP practices recognising the health benefits of high quality green space. Public demand has been growing steadily for open space in Newry, which campaigners point out is the only city in Ireland without a proper park.
Furthermore the Albert Basin Park Project will be holding a Christmas Fundraising Pub Quiz in the Irish National Foresters on 29th December. More details can be found on the Albert Basin Park Project Facebook Page.