Jails and tourism don't mix
With Northern Ireland now pushing tourism as a major source of jobs and possible inward investment, it beggars belief that Government planners are proposing to replace the existing Magilligan Prison with an even larger site in an area which would generally be acknowledged as an area of outstanding natural beauty.
This is surely an ideal opportunity to locate the prison to a site which would not intrude on an area which we are trying to promote as a tourist destination.
Ballykelly airfield site must be a contender as a preferred base for the prison, located as it would be on Government-owned land with superior transport links and infrastructure, with the compromise of locating much needed jobs in the North West area.
Perhaps it is time for some more realistic thinking on what direction we want to take Northern Ireland Plc in regard to our tourist potential.
I am sure that most tourists would much prefer to see our much admired scenery and not a massive blot on the landscape as envisaged by our Government planners!
Local Tourist Newtownabbey