Northern Ireland news

Newry Mitchels GAA club to meet government officials as DUP's Jim Wells says potential loss of pitch cannot be allowed to hold up new road

The proposed new Newry southern relief road indicated by the purple line. The orange line is a previously proposed road

A NEWRY GAA club is due to meet government officials this week to discuss its relocation to make way for a major new route.

Members of Newry Mitchels are set to hold discussions with the Department for Infrastructure and road planners after it was revealed that the proposed Newry southern relief route will slice through its pitch.

The creation of a new proposed route linking the main Belfast to Dublin road with the Warrenpoint dual carriageway could see the road cut through Gerry Brown Park. It is among a number of significant challenges facing road planners in the building of the new road, which could also impact some people living in the Fathom area of the city.

It comes as DUP assembly member Jim Wells has said the potential loss of the GAA pitch cannot be allowed to hold up progress on the road.

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Mr Wells told the News Letter that concerns about the pitch cannot be allowed to stall the "utterly essential scheme" adding that "all that is required is to give them an equivalent pitch at another site so they can continue their need".

But SDLP councillor Michael Savage last night said "patience is needed so that things are done right".

He has been liasing with residents in the Fathom area and the GAA club.

"Newry Mitchels are planning to meet this week with members of the project team and DfI to iron out the issues," he said.

"This project is going to take a couple of years, but the concerns of the nine families and the club are paramount.

"The club will be taking time to meet DfI officials and talking it though. Patience is needed so that things are done right."

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