A Newry-based GAA club is to be relocated as drill work begins as part of the proposals for a major new multi-million pound road close to the city.
The Newry South Relief Road will run between the A1 Dublin Road dual carriageway and A2 Warrenpoint Road dual carriageway, the preferred route being revealed last October.
Now, as part of the work ahead of the road’s development, consultants – working for the Department of Infrastructure – are to conduct what is described as ‘geotechnical investigations’.
This will mean bore hole drilling on the club’s playing surface, as the preferred route for the relief road crosses Gerry Brown Park, on the Warrenpoint Road.
The ground is used by Newry Mitchels GFC under seasonal hire arrangements.
Bore hole drilling is due to start this month.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s active and healthy communities committee will consider the issue when it meets on Thursday.
The committee will be asked to rubber-stamp the relocation of Newry Mitchels GFC to make use of the Derryleckagh Playing Fields, on the Ballyholland Road. This would be on a Wednesday, Friday and Sunday each week.
A report to committee confirms: “Sports development have recently met with the club and agreed the relocation and utiliasation of Derryleckagh Playing Field under a seasonal hire arrangement for 2019/20.
“Sports development have also discussed with the Down County Board GAA and have received a letter of comfort supporting this relocation.”
The Southern Relief Road has been in the pipeline for a number of years with considerations and consultations on preferred route.
Last month, the Department for Infrastructure Southern Division confirmed it was “advancing the design and development” of the strategic link to the south of Newry City.
The new road – upon completion – will provide an alternative route for traffic that avoids Newry City centre.