Murphy: ‘Crossmaglen monument a tourist attraction’
Sinn Féin MLA for South Armagh, Conor Murphy has responded to a recent Newry Times article where Newry and Armagh DUP assembly member William Iwrin raised concerns about an application for a monument in Crossmaglen Square. The application for SOAR funding was recently submitted by Crossmaglen Memorial and Heritage Committee.
Speaking to Newry Times, Mr Murphy said, “I am aware that a funding application has been submitted by Crossmaglen Memorial and Heritage Committee to SOAR, which is the organisation locally responsible for the administration of the Rural Development Programme. The Department of Agriculture has deemed that this application is eligible to be considered for funding under measure 3.6 – Conservation and Upgrading of Rural Heritage – and therefore this application must be afforded the same consideration as any other.”
Mr Murphy went on to describe the monument as ‘a symbol of Crossmaglen’ and ‘a focal point for visitors and tourists’. He continued, “This monument has taken pride of place in the centre of Crossmaglen Square since it was erected in 1979. Over the years it has attracted the eye of many tourists who wish to know more about its history but unfortunately there is very little on the monument to describe how it came to be.”
Murphy claims the funding application aims to rectify this with the installation of bronze plaques describing the sculpture, a phoenix and a figure, and the artist Yann Goulet. He added, “Many media outlets incorrectly label this monument an ‘IRA Monument’, it is obvious that those who do so are ill informed. The idea for this statue was first mooted in the 1940’s, long before the most recent phase of conflict. In addition there is nothing on the monument which alludes to the IRA, rather the inscription focuses on all those who have suffered for the love of Irish Freedom.”
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