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Set in stone! Council confirm all 15 locations for new NI Centenary stones

Commemorative stones Tandragee and Richhill

ABC Council has now confirmed the location of all 15 of its Northern Ireland Centenary stones.

The decorative stones are to mark 100 years since the foundation of Northern Ireland and three have already been installed at the main civic buildings within the borough.

The remaining 12 stones were to be looked at further to find the most suitable places.

When the public was asked for its suggestions in a public consultation, running from January to March this year, a total of 1,043 responses were received.

There will still be some discussions and arrangements to be finalised, but the exact locations has now been drawn up.

These include the Avenue Road entrance at Lurgan, in front of the plaza in Portadown, between the seats at the Square in Dromore, and at the foot of the heritage lighting in Gilford.

In Tandragee, a stone would be installed in the seated area beside the clock at the bottom of the town, while in Rathfriland one would feature beside the flower beds in the Square.

Others have been earmarked for Hillview Park in Donaghcloney, and beside the flag pole in Waringstown, at the ‘Hill’ in Magheralin, and beside the notice board in Dollingstown.

Lastly, there would be centenary stones at the community garden in Loughgall, and on the plaza – close to the War Memorial – in Richhill.

The cost of the stones was £2,925 which has already been paid to the supplier.

But a report to the economic development committee this week advised that it would cost more now to put them in place.

It confirms: “It was previously agreed to install the stones using in-house resources for council-owned sites. Given the nature of the various alternative sites and the request that the stones are mounted where appropriate, there will be additional costs associated with the installation of the stones at the revised locations which is currently estimated at between £4,000 – £8,400.”

In each area chosen, over 50% of the respondents replied ‘yes’ to the stones being placed there. In
seven over 90% responded ‘yes’, including Rathfriland, Richhill, Loughgall, Donaghcloney, Tandragee, Waringstown and Dollingstown; 79% of respondents in Portadown agreed to the principle of installing a stone here and 80% of Dromore residents agreed similarly.

In Gilford 61.9% approved of the installation of a stone, while in Magheralin it was 66.67%.

In Lurgan, 51.58% approved of the installation of a stone in the town.

The committee, which agreed to the recommendations, was advised of the next step, the report confirming: “Some further work has been done regarding the process of installing the remainder of the stones and contact is ongoing with the landowners and our legal team with regards to drafting and approving wayleaves.”

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