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Security gates in Derry’s walls to be removed

Justice Minister David Ford has announced that the majority of security gates in Derry's historic walls are being removed.
Wednesday, 1 May 2013

In this, the year of Derry~Londonderry City of Culture, the walls will play a central role in the festivities and are a must see for any tourist visiting the city. Derry has a real opportunity to show what the city has to offer.

Minister of Justice David Ford MLA,Northern Ireland Department of Justice

Over the next couple of weeks, 11 out of the 16 gates will be removed and in order to facilitate the work, the Department has invested £28,000 in additional CCTV coverage in and around the walls.  

The gates where Bishop Street passes under the walls at the Fountain Estate will remain in place.

Speaking during a visit to the walls, David Ford said he hoped the move would be welcomed by residents, businesses and visitors alike.  

David Ford said:  “In this, the year of Derry~Londonderry City of Culture, the walls will play a central role in the festivities and are a must see for any tourist visiting the city.  Derry has a real opportunity to show what the city has to offer.

“For tourists and residents alike, I very much welcome the fact that we have been able to remove a number of the security gates that are a blight on these historic walls.  The walls can now be enjoyed without the imposing structures that point to our past rather than our future.

“I would like to thank the local community, the PSNI and Derry City Council for their support and cooperation.”

Before visiting Derry’s walls the Minister met with groups from Triax Neighbourhood Partnership Board and St Columb’s Park House who have both received funding through the International Fund for Ireland Peace Walls Programme.

David Ford said:  “I am impressed by the commitment of representatives from Triax and St Columb’s who face the challenge of tackling the difficult issues connected with interface areas.  

“If we are to build a truly shared society we need individuals and groups to be prepared to do the hard work of building and improving community relations so we can break down the barriers that keep people apart.  

“I hope we can build confidence in the community so that they can feel safe and secure without the need for interface structures.  That of course may take time.

“I welcome the funding from IFI to support the local community take forward their challenging programme of work.  For my part, I will do what I can to ensure these groups, and those elsewhere, are supported by Government.”

Notes to editors

All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office on 028 9052 6444.  Out of hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.