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Actor Stephen Rea to attend Lough Beg event

Road chiefs plan to route a section of the A6 upgrade through wetlands close to Lough Beg
Connla Young

ACTOR Stephen Rea will take part an event to promote an environmentally important lough made famous by Seamus Heaney.

The Love Lough Beg event will take place this weekend in Belfast and close to the shores of the lough.

In recent years attention has focused on the lake after road chiefs revealed plans to build a £160m dual-carriageway through nearby wetlands as part of the A6 upgrade, which links Derry and Belfast.

The event comes as the Supreme Court in London considers whether to allow the case to be heard there after legal action to halt the road failed last year.

Campaigners say the road should not be routed through an area of such environmental and cultural importance while those in favour say it will improve travel times between Derry and Belfast.

Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, who penned the poem The Strand At Lough Beg, urged authorities not to build the new road through the area in a letter written to former Secretary of State Peter Hain in 2005.

Mr Rea is expected to take part in an event in the Crescent Arts Centre tomorrow along with the chair of the Northern Ireland Tourist Guides Association, Cathie McKimm, and wildlife artist Gordon D'Arcy, who has also written a book called the 'Birds of Lough Beg'.

Organiser Aisling Cowan said campaigners would like to see the area given a UNESCO designation, which would give it international recognition.

A series of events will also be held around Lough Beg on Saturday between 11pm - 5pm.

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