Residents defend historic site from developers

RESIDENTS IN the Mountsandel neighbourhood of Coleraine have voiced their disgust and outrage at a proposed plan to build 14 new houses in the area despite encroaching upon the oldest known historical settlement in Ireland.

By Chris Henry

The Mesolithic settlement, as well as Mountsandel Fort, which lies yards away from the proposed housing development, were both used by settlers up until the 1600s. The field itself has also been an established right of way for the general public for over 25 years as an entry point into Mountsandel Forest.

Recently, Lennox Coleraine Developments Ltd., the company behind the proposed construction, built a 7ft fence around the perimeter of the field. In their attempt to justify their actions, which were met with furious opposition from local residents, they ridiculously claimed that the fence was "to keep out gypsies". Mr. Lennox was told by local residents that they would "prefer gypsies to his presence in their neighbourhood"!

Also, after Mr. Lennox and his workmen were confronted in a non-violent fashion by residents, he rang the police, sending them to the door of an innocent resident on the basis that "a lot of people had been crowded around that house earlier"!

Since then, part of this fence has been taken down by "unknown" local residents. Local residents are prepared to take direct action if the need arises in order to save a site of immense importance, rather than see it fall into the hands of ruthless profiteers.

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