Save Heaney Country: Protect Lough Beg

by Aisling C. in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

We did it
On 5th March 2017 we successfully raised £840 with 29 supporters in 42 days

We are raising funds for the Judicial Review of the A6 road; to protect this area of Global, Cultural and Environmental Heritage.

by Aisling C. in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Help Chris protect the Lough Beg Wilderness...

We have a wonderful opportunity in Febuary 2017 to challenge the Department of Infrastructure on the routing of the Toome to Castledawson section of the A6 road.  All avenues have been looked at to get the Department to reconsider the massive enviornmental impact of the plan , the only option left was to take the Department for Infrastructure decision to the High Court.   A personal litigant Chris Murphy is taking the case to the High Court, to a full Judicial Review of the unlawful decision.  

Chris is taking this case, and has engaged legal advice and legal opinion:  his case he has built up is very strong with a good chance of winning due to Departmental failures.

It's not the Road, It's the Route.

We are not against the building of a better road between Belfast and Derry, but we want a route planned that will protect the integrity of the Lough Beg area and conserve the wonderful potential that it has, as a 'precious lung' in the countryside, a pristine wetland wilderness.  After a huge Government investment in the Homeplace Centre in Bellaghy, what will we tell the tourists that wish to visit the places that Heaney wrote about?  

"Sorry...there is a motoway there now"...

Everyone agrees we need more long term thinking and planning in Northern Ireland, help  us make the Government change their mind and find an alternative route (there are several).  This area needs to be protected for future generations, for Seamus Heaney fans, for sustainable tourism and for the generations of protected Whooper swans and other wildlife who feed in the fields the road is planned for.

Environmental Heritage

The fields where the road is planned for is the feeding and wintering site for the protected Whooper swans.  The road will come within yards of the protected RAMSAR, SAC and ASSI of the Lough Beg Wetlands.  It is a NATURA 2000 site.  This poses huge danger to many protected species and highlights the enormous Enviornmental Implications of the development.  If this road goes ahead here, with such a high level of protection, then nowhere in Northern Ireland is safe from development.  Help Chris to win this case.

Cultural Heritage

If this section of the road goes ahead, carrying 22 thousand cars per day, with the lighting, noise and air pollution and associated development that motorways bring, it will destroy the pastroral features and recurring placenames of Heaney's writing.  A flyover is planned to pass within 100metres of the actual Heaney homeplace, Mossbawn, setting for countless poems and will permanantly destroy the scenic landscape surrounding it:

Anahorish, The Broagh, The Hillhead, Lagans Road, The Sluggan and The Strand at Lough Beg all feature prominantly in his work and writings and all stand to be permanantly affected, altered or brutalised.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts if you have already given to this campaign.  We are again asking you to help Chris take this case forward.  How much is our Heritage worth?  Become part of this campaign and imagine knowing that you helped save it.   Help him defend this beautiful wilderness.  Help him make our NI Government take conservation and long term thinking seriously.  Help him force them to find another route, as where the wishes of Seamus Heaney who said...

"I have known and loved this area since Childhood, I have written about it- or rather out of it- often.  All roads desecrate, but some desecrate more than others"

The department is putting its weight against Chris, defending bad decision making with our public money.  We need your financial support to fund this strong legal challenge with good legal opinion, help and advice.  All we are asking is to reroute a short 4mile section of the A6 road to protect the last wetland wilderness in Northern Ireland.

Will you help Chris fight to save it?

Chris Murphy on the day he was given permission to proceed to JR.

Whooper Swans feeding in fields around Lough Beg

Seamus Heaneys letter to Peter Hain in 2005.

The Map showing possible routes, the black line curving to the right is where it is planned to go.

"History says, don't hope 

on this side of the grave

But then, once in a lifetime

That great longed for tidal wave

of Justice can rise up

and hope and history rhyme.

So hope for a great sea-change

On the far side of revenge

Believe that further shore

is reachable from here

Believe in miracle and cures

and Healing Wells"

Reroute for Seamus.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£25 or more

£25 Reward

Thank you..."If you have the words, there's always a chance you'll find the way"

£50 or more

£50 Reward

Thank you so much. "Believe that further shore, is reachable from here"

£100 or more

£100 Reward

Wow thank you! "Behaviour that is admired, is the path to power among people everywhere"

£150 or more

£150 Reward

We are jumping for joy! "The longed for tidal wave of justice can rise up, and hope and history rhyme"

£250 or more

£250 Reward

"There is risk and truth to yourselves, and to the world before you" This entitles you to a guided walk of the Lough Beg site...get in touch with us for more details. If you wish to give more than this then directly contact us.

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