Saturday 31 January 2015

Minister wants heritage crime panel

Published 31/07/2011 | 17:56

Alex Attwood has called a special heritage crime summit after Herdsmans Mill in Co Tyrone was devastated by a fire

A spate of heritage crime should be addressed by a special summit of experts, Environment Minister Alex Attwood said.

Herdsmans Mill in Sion Mills, Co Tyrone, was badly burned in a weekend fire, part of a spate of recent incidents.

It is a listed building, constructed in 1835, and was the last wet-spraying flax mill in Ireland.

Mr Attwood said: "I am deeply concerned about these fires which have occurred, and the fires which could potentially occur, at listed buildings.

"Herdsman Mill, which was recently attacked, is a particular jewel in our built heritage.

"I am now calling for a heritage crime summit to be held in two weeks time."

The summit will involve all the relevant statutory and emergency agencies.

The minister added: "We need to get to grips with securing these buildings more effectively. Our built heritage is a key cog in our tourist industry in Northern Ireland."

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