Newry 2020 a new group aimed at helping make Newry fulfil it’s untapped potential as a vibrant, exciting place to live and work and an attractive destination for tourists is holding a Public Meeting on Wednesday the 12th of February at 7.30pm in the Sugar Supper Club, Sugar Island, Newry.

“Newry 2020 - A Vision for Our City’s Future” began as a post from local resident Columba O’Hare on his website, suggesting ways to make Newry a much more attractive place to live and visit, while aiming to have many new projects in place by the year 2020. Suggestions included re-opening the Gallows Hill tunnel for tourism, much more use of Newry Canal with restaurant barges moored along the quay, restoration of old neglected buildings, the renewal of Sugar Island and much more. You can read the full draft at

People power - Columba O'Hare,; Sarah Meaney,; Suzanne Murdock, The Hub and Neil Bradley, Sugar Supper Club just some of the people who are getting behind the Newry 2020 campaign. They have organised a public meeting at 7.30pm on Wednesday the 12th of February at Sugar Supper Club, Sugar Island, Newry.If you are interested in playing your part or have ideas that would help improve our city make sure you come along. It’s open to all!

"The meeting will use state-of-the-art eParticipation technology developed at the University of Ulster to capture and share ideas at the event. Contributions will be gathered in real-time and a full report will be distributed among attendees and published online immediately following the event."

Brian Cleland, PhD Researcher at the University of Ulster said: "I'm very inspired by the degree to which Columba's blog post resonated with people. It seems to have tapped into a deep-seated civic pride and a shared belief in Newry's potential for growth. By working together, using a mixture of modern technology and old-fashioned community spirit, we're hoping to create a platform for grassroots initiatives that can transform Newry for the better."

While the idea started out as an individuals personal thoughts on improving Newry, interest in the project is building with others coming on board.

Neill Bradley proprietor of Sugar Supper Club explained the reason behind the importance of Newry 2020 for him “We all have a vested interest in Newry, whether you live here, work here, own a business here or visit here. We want to make it a success, not just for ourselves, that’s part of it but for everyone who wants to come here in whatever capacity.”

Suzanne Murdock from The Hub added “It's also about making the community and next generation aware of the local creative talent, the culture of where they are from and how we can all play a part, then hopefully working together to develop it and perhaps spin off some enterprising ideas.”

Columba O’Hare from commented “It’s very easy for people to knock Newry but it’s much harder to do something about what you see as the issues or needs of our city. In recent years many people from all walks of life in Newry have embarked on ambitious projects to improve and raise the profile of the city. We want to continue the momentum and come up with a lot of new ideas, leading to action that will ultimately make us all extremely proud to be from Newry”

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