Northern Ireland news

Police called to Co Tyrone anti-gold mine protest

Some residents are opposed to plans to develop a gold mine in the Greencastle area of Co Tyrone. Picture by Cliff Donaldson
Connla Young

POLICE were called to a protest organised by anti-gold mine campaigners outside a conference to discuss tourism in the Sperrin Mountains.

The ‘Future Search’ event, which has been organised by four local councils, kicked off yesterday at a hotel in Cookstown.

Anti-mining groups believed that Canadian firm Dalradian Gold, which wants to develop a mine in the Greencastle area, near Omagh, was among those invited.

Some local people in the area are opposed to the mine.

Organisers said that three-day conference would bring together people who have a “stake in the future of the Sperrins” but did not make public those who were invited.

John Donaghy, who is a former chairman of Sperrins Tourism Ltd and the manager of the social enterprise An Creagán near Omagh, handed a statement to organisers before joining protesters.

He claimed the conference included supporters of goldmining and wind farms which were not in keeping with sustainable tourism.

A spokeswoman for Mid-Ulster District Council said the PSNI was told that a “protest was likely to take place”.

The DUP chair of the council, Kim Ashton, said the success of the conference relies on the “ultimate aim of finding common ground”.

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