Hazzard welcomes reprieve for lighthouse
Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard has received confirmation from the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) that controversial plans to modify St John’s Point Lighthouse have been suspended for at least two years.
The South Down MLA has been active with local residents and maritime enthusiasts in campaigning against the CIL’s plans to remove the world famous Fresnel lens and the sweeping beam from the Lecale lighthouse.
Mr Hazzard said:
“I am delighted that the CIL has decided to take two years to explore alternative engineering solutions that do not involve the extinction of the sweeping beam.
"As was outlined by local residents so passionately at a public meeting recently, the sweeping beam is a quintessential feature of our coastline in Lecale and we would not want it to be removed.
“I want to put on record my thanks to Captain Robert McCabe and CIL for engaging with local residents and ultimately taking on board the real resistance to their original plans.
"I hope over the next two years we can build on this initial relationship so that we can ultimately come to an arrangement that meets the needs of the local community and CIL.
Mr Hazzard concluded:
“I also want to thank the dedication and commitment of local activists who stood defiantly against these plans from the outset.
"Because of their tireless efforts we have now been afforded a two year reprieve to engage with the CIL and ensure that the sweeping beam remains for generations to come.”