‘Heaney Country’ fees plea launched online

Crowds gather to fill out the main auditorium at the Save Heaney Country concert at the Lyric Theatre

Crowds gather to fill out the main auditorium at the Save Heaney Country concert at the Lyric Theatre

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A crowdfunding campaign has been launched online to raise £7,000 for legal fees to “Save Heaney Country and reroute the A6”.

As disclosed in last week’s Mid-Ulster Mail, a legal challenge to one section of the planned dual carriageway between Castledawson and Randalstown was to be submitted on Thursday past.

“Despite the existence of several alternatives, the construction of a new dual carriageway between Toome and Castledawson will send 22,000 vehicles per day thundering through the heart of Heaney Country just 50 metres from his childhood home at Mossbawn where one of several motorway flyovers will dominate the landscape,” the crowdfunding campaign reads.

“The motorway is set to churn up and permanently alter the charm and charisma of many of the places immortalised in his writing such as ‘The Broagh’, Mossbawn’, ‘Hillhead’, ‘Anahorish’, ‘Lagan’s Road’, and ‘The Strand at Lough Beg’.

“Final permissions have been given and bulldozers are due to arrive in the next few weeks. We need to act quickly or regret it forever.

“What will we say to those who come to visit the new cultural Centre in Bellaghy when they ask to take a tour of the famous landscape and the Heaney HomePlace?

“This campaign is winnable and the growing support from the Arts community and the rising international outcry gives us hope.”

Bafta Award-winning actor Stephen Rea was amongst those who appeared in a concert at the Lyric Theatre on Sunday to bring further attention to a campaign to have these plans reconsidered.

You can find out more at www.crowdfunder.co.uk.