30/03/2004

DoE criticises WW2 airbase demolition

The Department of Environment has described as "reprehensible" the decision by a local landowner to destroy the only intact World War Two airfield in Northern Ireland.

Demolition work began at Saint Angelo airport, near Enniskillen, on Saturday and by Monday the majority of artefacts such as a control building, various pillboxes and air raid shelters.

A Doe statement read: "DoE can confirm that contact had been made with the landowner at St Angelo with a view to preserving buildings under the Historic Monuments & Archaeological Objects Order 1995.

"It is reprehensible that buildings such as these with connections to an important part of our history should be demolished or damaged.

"Fears that livestock would fall into these 60 year old structures are unfounded as measures such as fencing could have been agreed with the owner under Scheduled Monument Consent procedures."

The Environment Heritage Service also expressed its concern at the move saying it was "puzzling" that the buildings, which had existed for 60 years, were now being removed from the landscape.

(MB)

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