Ambitious concert hall plans lodged

Castle Hill  Picture: Gary Monaghan
Castle Hill Picture: Gary Monaghan

Ambitious plans to transform Dungannon’s The Hill of the O’Neill into a leading venue for outdoor concerts, events and festivals have been lodged with the planning office,

Dungannon Council has secured funding for a £1.5m open-air concert hall to be built on the site that belonged formerly to the Territorial Army.

It is envisaged that on a clear day tourists will be able to see seven counties from the specially designed conservation gallery on the new building’s roof, as well as the Sperrins, the Mourne Mountains, Slieve Gullion, Slemish Mountains and the Belfast hills.

The idea of creating viewing platforms as a major tourist attraction has been around since Dungannon Council first began to develop the Hill of the O’Neill.

According to the plans, the existing garages will be refurbished and extended to create an ‘internal events space including display area and viewing gallery’.

The plans also include the building of ‘a covered external events space with associated landscaping’.

The concert building will also have sliding side walls which, weather-permitting, will be opened to allow audiences to take in the expansive views.

“I’d like to see the new venue used by the entire community of Dungannon District for a variety of purposes”, said UUP Councillor Walter Cuddy.

“The views from the site are already impressive, and to have the platforms raised onto this new concert hall will surely prove to be a major tourist attraction. Nowhere else in the country will be able to offer similar views in terms of scope and magnificence.”