Public joins NI Water to mark 100 years of Silent Valley | Newry News | Latest Newry News, Newry Sport and Newry Business for Newry City

Public joins NI Water to mark 100 years of Silent Valley | Newry News

Local schools, relatives of the original workers at Silent Valley and competition winners all gathered at Silent Valley to celebrate 100 years since the cutting of the first sod that would mark the beginning of the Silent Valley site as we know it today. 


Public joins NI Water to mark 100 years of Silent Valley | Newry News - news in newry


Chief Executive of NI Water, Sara Venning, spoke at the event.

“On the 10th October 1923, Lord Carson of Duncairn was invited to perform the opening ceremony to cut the first sod for the foundation of the embankment wall,” she comments.

“This would mark the start of years of work to create the reservoir we have today. 

“The ceremony was carried out in the presence of the then Prime Minister, James Craig, members of the Belfast and District Water Commissioners Board and its Chief Officers at the time. 

“It is important to take the time to mark this historic event, to pay tribute to those who had the vision to recognise how vital safe, clean, drinking water was for prosperity and health, not only in their own lifetime but for all of us who benefit from it today. 

“It is because of this vision that we can gather 100 years later at the site that now supplies millions of litres of water to over 200,000 homes throughout County Down and Belfast, every single day. 


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“It is our responsibility to look after the legacy left to us. 

“It is now in our hands to ensure the site is valued as a resource to educate and inspire the next generation to value the most precious of assets; water.  

To mark the 100-year anniversary, a series of events were organised, kickstarting with a family day in the summer.  

This event was followed by an opportunity for local schools to create a mosaic using ceramic tiles to commemorate 100 years of “Mourne Water Gives Life”.

The schools worked under the supervision of Mount Ida Pottery. 

Sara Venning officially unveiled the ceramic, which is now situated in the Silent Valley Park for visitors to view. 

The final event was an award ceremony for winners of a photography competition, run in partnership with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, who were chosen to have their photos used in a special Centenary Calendar. 

Guests were then taken on a tour of the newly enhanced visitors centre, which now houses photographs and artefacts from the original period when the Reservoir was being constructed.

Sara continues, “We were delighted to show our visitors, many of whom were relatives of the original families who worked at the Silent Valley site, the revamped visitors centre.  

“Recorded stories and original photos are now on display, ensuring the history of the Valley is captured for future generations.” 

Also present were members of the team who have been working on a community engagement project to capture public opinion of the future of the Silent Valley Mountain Park.  

The team were able to show those attending the results of that engagement and how it has been shaped into a vision of a master plan that reflects the needs of current and future visitors to the Valley. 


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Posted by on Oct 24 2023. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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