Belfast Telegraph

Time running out to cast your vote for Derry's historic walls and the Giant's Causeway in Co Antrim

By Donna Deeney

One of Londonderry's best assets — its historic walls — have been shortlisted in a National Treasures campaign.

With only a few days of voting available, local people are being urged to register their support for the 400-year-old fortification.

The historic Walls of Derry are the largest ancient monument in state care in Northern Ireland.

In recent years, a number of projects and events have reinvigorated the image of the city’s walls, including the Awakening of the Walls during the Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival; the Lumiere Festival of Light, and European Walled Towns Day, while the City Lighting Strategy currently shines a new light on one of the city’s most beautiful features.

The walls are up against some stiff competition including Scotland's tallest mountain Ben Nevis, Cardiff's Millennium Stadium and the Giant's Causeway in Co Antrim.

Derry mayor Martin Reilly said every vote would count and there was not a lot of time left in the competition.

He added: “Following on from the 400th anniversary of the building of the walls, it’s fitting that we should have this opportunity to mark their historic significance.

“It’s fantastic for the city to be recognised in this way, both in terms of its history and as an exciting and interesting visitor destination.

“I would like to pay tribute to all the agencies who work to preserve and convey the rich heritage of our city’s iconic fortifications.

“With less than a week to go until the voting closes, I would encourage everyone to take a couple of minutes to register their vote and see the walls recognised as one of the top national treasures to visit in the UK.”

The walls have previously won huge support from various quarters, including South Belfast MLA Anna Lo who preferred Derry’s Walls to China’s Great Wall.

After touring Derry’s Walls, Ms Lo said: “I have visited both the Derry Walls and the Great Wall of China and I think the walls in Derry are better, they are certainly not as boring as the walls in China.

“Derry Walls are so varied, there is a different view everywhere you look and there are shops, cafes and other things to see near the walls, but in China it is quite boring, with just fields everywhere.”

The What’s Your National Treasure? campaign was launched by the National Lottery as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations.

Votes can be cast on Facebook.com/LotteryGoodCauses until midnight on May 27.

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