Belfast Telegraph

DUP rejects call for Londonderry walls ownership move

Derry's walls
Derry's walls
The City Walls area of Derry.

The DUP has rejected calls for the ownership of Londonderry's walls to be transferred to the local council.

It follows calls from Foyle Sinn Fein MP Elisha McCallion to have Derry City and Strabane District Council take over ownership of the historic walls.

The walls are owned by the Honourable The Irish Society.

The DUP confirmed on Friday that it will not back any move to transfer ownership.

DUP MLA Gary Middleton has said: “Everyone recognises the huge significance of the City Walls which attracts many tourists and are of particular historical importance.

"Guardians entrusted with the care and maintenance of the walls must ensure that the cultural life that surrounds them is maintained and that we continue to promote Londonderry and its City Walls as a tourist attraction.

2 deprived city walls derry.jpg
The City Walls area of Derry.

"Recent projects such as the Walled City Lighting Strategy and the refurbishment of Walkers Plinth have been examples of partnership working for the enhancement of the historic walls.

"I would urge extreme caution in any decisions around change of ownership, particularly to the council. I believe the ownership, which has existed for nearly 70 years, should be kept for the good of all who love this iconic part of our City.”

Stormont's Department for Communities is currently responsible for the walls' management and conservation.

On Thursday the Irish Society said any move to change who owns the walls requires "cross-party political support".

Ms McCallion told the BBC she is concerned too many groups are currently involved in their management, maintenance and promotion of the walls.

"We have had the conversations with the Honourable the Irish Society. They have suggested that if we have the political will amongst the parties here in the city it is something they would consider," she said.

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