Dallat: OFMDFM have done nothing about Magilligan firing range

The army firing range on the edge of Magilligan Point. LV24-727MML
The army firing range on the edge of Magilligan Point. LV24-727MML

Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson’s office have made no approaches to the Ministry of Defence about ‘decommissioning’ the Magilligan firing range, to the disappointment of local MLA John Dallat.

The East Londonderry SDLP Assembly Member John Dallat has been informed by the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister that they have made no representations at this time to the Ministry of Defence in respect of the decommissioning of land at Magilligan.

He said: “It is welcome that many of the trappings of a turbulent past have disappeared and therefore the more astonishing that in one of the most scenic places in Ireland we still have red flags flying indicating a ‘no go’ area where the army is still operating a shooting range.

“Promises were made to me several years ago that the Ministry of Defence would move these activities to Britain but for some unexplained reasons they are still there. The fact that the OFMDFM has made no representations is all the more disappointing.

“In recent times European funding has been awarded to Limavady Borough Council for improving tourism amenities in the Magilligan area, something which I welcome, but this does not fit in well with huge areas of land permanently out of bounds to visitors.

“I want to see an end to all the outward signs of a military past which is out of harmony with a need to secure the future of the Foyle Ferry Service in that area and develop other tourism infrastructure for the future which will generate and secure well-paid jobs for generations to come.”