With full community backing, the local Councillor had consistently stood up against Sinn Féin and the DUP’s attempts to block the park, while Newry Mourne and Down Council was also unwilling to commit to a park on the site.
Councillor Patrick Brown said: “With a public petition with over 10,000 signatures calling for the park to be delivered, I wasn’t prepared to allow a number of previous set-backs or tactics from other Councillors stand in the way of delivering this park. I would also like to recognise the efforts of community activists who have championed this project for years, particularly Newry 2020, and also the Newry and Armagh Alliance Association, who first brought the park to my attention. Without them, and the support of other parties who signed this motion, this project would not be going ahead.
“With the site first marked for community use in 1986, local people have waited long enough to see promises of an all-purpose park and community facility become a reality.
“What could possibly be of better use and more benefit to the people of not just Newry but the entire district, than municipal park with green space, outdoor gym, running track, cycle and canoe rental, skate park, unique woodland and wildlife sanctuaries, adventure playground and open air theatre?
“I welcome the eventual support of Sinn Féin and DUP members for this project, and I’m pleased after months of lukewarm platitudes towards it, they have finally agreed with Alliance, as well as other parties on the Council, the Albert Basin is the best and only site for a park in Newry.”