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Bishop hits out at 'unsightly' big screen beside Newry Cathedral

The large screen being constructed beside Newry Cathedral
Brendan Hughes

A CATHOLIC bishop has called on a council to review its decision to place a large outdoor TV screen beside Newry Cathedral.

Bishop John McAreavey described the screen as "unsightly", saying it "destroys one of the more elegant views of the centre of Newry".

The big screen has been met with controversy since work began to construct the outdoor display on Hill Street next to the cathedral, a Grade A listed building.

Bishop McAreavey yesterday said he was disappointed with the council's decision and shared in the "anger" of many parishioners.

"The view of the streetscape, prior to the construction of the screen, was one that residents and visitors identify as the centre of the city," he said.

"No wonder then that people have been angered and upset at the decision of the council to place a huge and unsightly screen adjacent to the cathedral.

"I share their anger. Such a screen may be suitable for a public park, main road or motorway, but its current location it is inappropriate, out of place and out of scale.

"On behalf of parishioners in Newry, I call on the council to review its decision to place this screen on the main street, where it destroys one of the more elegant views of the centre of Newry."

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has defended the decision to erect the screen, saying the public was notified of the application in local newspapers.

The electronic display has planning permission for two years. It has cost around £110,000 and the council says it will be used for a range of broadcasts from Christmas films to sporting events.

"The large outdoor screen is part of the revitalisation scheme in Newry," a council spokesman said.

"The project was publicly advertised as part of the planning process and no major opposition was received."

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