22/05/2006

Water Service commemorates Reservoir deaths

A memorial dedicated to the nine men who died during the construction of the Silent Valley and Ben Crom Reservoirs has been unveiled today by the Water Service.

The ceremony was held at the Silent Valley Reservoir where the memorial has been erected and was attended by relatives of the men who lost their lives.

The Mourne granite memorial was unveiled by Katharine Bryan, Chief Executive of Water Service who paid tribute to those who died.

She said: “It has been a great honour to unveil this memorial on behalf of Water Service. It is a fitting tribute to the nine men who made the ultimate sacrifice, many at such a young age, so that the Belfast area could have a regular and reliable supply of clean drinking water.

“It has been a very poignant day, however I am delighted to have been able to meet so many relatives of those who lost their lives and formally recognise the lasting contribution made by the men so many years ago.”

After the unveiling, nine native trees were planted to represent the lives lost during the construction of both dams.

The Silent Valley Reservoir was constructed between 1923 and 1933 by a workforce of around 2000 men made up of locals from the Mourne area along with many others from across Great Britain and Ireland.

Although celebrated on completion as one of the great civil engineering achievement of its time sadly eight men died during its construction, six from Northern Ireland.

Following the war, the Water Commissioners decided that it was necessary to use the full yield of water available from the Silent Valley catchment area in order to meet higher demands.

As a result the Ben Crom Reservoir was constructed between 1953 and 1957 in the Upper Silent Valley.

A total of 186 men were involved in building the mass gravity dam but regrettably one person was killed, a foreman joiner from Northern Ireland.

(EF/GB)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

18 June 2019
Digital Dementia Service Launched
The Health and Social Care Board has launched a digital service offering support for dementia sufferers and their carers.
18 June 2019
Person Rescued From River Foyle
A search and rescue team based in L'Derry has thanked members of the public after a person was rescued from the River Foyle. The operation was sparked after reports of an individual entering the water in the early hours of this morning, Tuesday 18 June. A member of the public is believed to have deployed a life ring and contacted the PSNI.
18 January 2002
Save water to avoid summer shortage warns Minister
More than 300,000 people in Belfast and County Down are being asked to economise their water usage in order to avoid a summer shortage. Regional Development Minister, Peter Robinson MP MLA warned that a lack of rainfall has led to a significant drop in water levels at reservoirs in Silent Valley, leaving them only about a third full.
17 May 2007
Development Minister opens Valley visitors centre
Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy MP MLA, today officially opened the new Visitors Centre at Silent Valley. Features at the centre include an interactive educational area where visitors’ can learn facts about water conservation and the water cycle and a wildlife sound booth.
01 July 2003
Report shows NI drinking water in the clear
Northern Ireland's drinking water has met the required standards of cleanliness according to a new report The statutory 2002 Drinking Water Quality Report indicated that 98.55% of all tests carried out on samples taken from customers’ taps complied with the regulatory standards set by the Water Quality Regulations (Northern Ireland) for 2002.