Plans for permanent memorial to Belfast Blitz victims
PLANS for a permanent memorial to remember those who lost their lives in the Belfast Blitz have been approved by Belfast City Council.
It is expected the memorial will be erected in Cathedral Gardens, also known as Buoy Park, close to St Anne's Cathedral and the Belfast campus of Ulster University.
It will remember the 1,000 people - civilians and military personnel - who were killed when German bombers targeted Belfast in 1941. The Luftwaffe carried out four raids on the city between April 7 and 6 May 1941.
A motion seeking council backing for the memorial was put forward by UUP councillor Jeff Dudgeon during a full council meeting on Monday night.
It was narrowly approved by councillors, with the motion carried by 26 votes to 22. The SDLP and Sinn Féin voted against it.
Mr Dudgeon said: "The Nazi bombs did not discriminate between Protestants and Catholics and that is why I am so disappointed that there should be any opposition, even tactical, to a city centre memorial.
"In order to ensure that a memorial can be in place for the 80th anniversary in 2021 - only two years away - it is vital it is included on the city council's list of emerging capital projects so that resources can be found within the forward budget."