Northern Ireland news

Herdman's Mill: Co Tyrone mill damaged in latest fire

A fire at Herdman's Mill in Sion Mills, Co Tyrone. Picture from Daniel McCrossan

A HISTORIC mill in Co Tyrone was damaged last night in a blaze an MLA described as suspected arson.

Fire broke out at the former Herdman's Mill in Sion Mills yesterday evening.

Fire fighters battled the blaze for several hours.

The derelict building has been targeted by arsonists several times in the past few years.

Built in 1835, the mill was owned by the Herdman family for more than 170 years.

It once employed more than 1,000 people but closed as a working mill in 2004.

SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan said the blaze was suspected arson.

"It is bitterly disappointing to learn of yet another fire at the Herdman's site," he said.

"This is a hugely important and historical site in Tyrone which has been subjected to a spate of arson attacks in the last few years.

He added: "I would advise anyone who spotted any suspicious activity around the time of the fire to get in touch with the PSNI as soon as possible".

"Something has to be done about this. I have engaged with various departments in the past to take ownership of the site and put it in the hands of local people. If action is not taken, I fear there will literally be nothing left of the mill and the history attributed to it."

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