Bloody Bridge Launch

01-May-2014



Friday 11th April marked the launch of two of the final projects along the Mourne Coastal Route, namely the Bloody Bridge Amenity Area and the adjacent National Trust Coastal Path.   

The Mourne Coastal Route is a signed touring route from Belfast to Newry taking in some of the best scenic driving in Ireland.  The Coastal Route has levered investment in excess of £3.7 million across both Newry & Mourne and Down Districts, including a range of visitor amenity improvements as well as signage of the entire route and its 4 scenic loops.  The new and distinctive Mourne Mountains brand, embodied in the signature entrance features, interpretation panels and site furniture, provides the visitor with an indicator that they can expect a high quality experience at that site, enlivened by information about points of interest and local heritage.      

The Coastal Path provides access to a spectacular section of rocky coast which abounds with heritage and stories.   Important from a geological perspective, the site also provides the ideal conditions for unique communities of shoreline plants, invertebrates and birds.  In days gone by, it was a popular landing spot for smugglers, en route for the aptly named “Brandy Pad”, carrying their contraband across the mountains.  The ruins of St Mary’s Church, reported to have been one of the first Christian Churches in Northern Ireland, can be accessed from the path.    

The Bloody Bridge is a key focal point along the Mourne Coastal Route and this has been acknowledged by the support of a number of funding bodies, namely Northern Ireland Tourist Board, SOAR Rural Development Programme and the Heritage Lottery Fund (via the Mourne Mountains Landscape Partnership).  Key partners with Newry & Mourne District Council in securing this investment were the Mourne Heritage Trust and the National Trust.   

Mayor of Newry & Mourne District Council, Councillor Michael Ruane said, “Bloody Bridge is a key site on the Mourne Coastal Route and we are very pleased to see it completed.  Both projects complement each other very well and provide fabulous improvement to the visitor infrastructure available”