Clarke welcomes Environment Minister’s visit to historic Dundrum Castle
Newcastle Alliance Councillor Patrick Clarke has welcomed the Environment Minister Alex Atwood recent visit to Dudnrum Castle to see the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) recently conducting an excavation at Dundrum Castle. The joint televised part of the excavation ran from 12-14 June 2012. Its aim was to find out what existed at this important site before the coming of the Normans.
Clarke has been lobbying the Environment Minister for environmental improvements at Dundrum Castle and the adoption Castlehill which is a private road leading to Dundrum Castle. He believes Dundrum Castle which was built in, or around 1177, with its majestic views overlooking Dundrum Bay could be an historical, environmental and major tourist attraction for the east coast of Down.
Speaking after Environment Minister Alex Atwood’s visit Clarke stated: “I very much welcome the Minister for the Environment who has responsibility under the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency for the care of the historic Dundrum Castle visiting Dundrum in person to see the archaeological excavations taking place. It was great to see the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) conducting an excavation at Dundrum Castle in conjunction with Channel Four’s Time Team and the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork at Queen’s University Belfast.”
“In May I wrote to the Minister for the Environment specifically about Dundrum Castle and the need to protect this historic and majestic place and to consider funding environmental improvement works and better promoting Dundrum Castle as a historical, environmental and major tourist attraction for the east coast of Down. I indicated to the Environment Minister that as the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency under the Department of the Environment was responsible for Dundrum Castle that raising these matters directly with the Minister could perhaps help resolve some of the very long outstanding issues.”
He added, “I have only recently been in touch this week with the Environment Minister’s private office regarding my written representations about Dundrum Castle and Castlehill leading to Dundrum Castle which I have been advised the Environment Minister and his officials are presently considering my requests.”
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