Arts Minister’s ‘insult’ over school: Swann

MLA Robin Swann at the Causeway School. INBM39-13
MLA Robin Swann at the Causeway School. INBM39-13

North Antrim MLA Robin Swann has expressed “his extreme disappointment” that the Culture, Arts and Leisure Minister has refused to meet him to discuss the future of the Causeway Historical School.

Assemblyman Swann, who is also North Antrim UUP Chairman and Party Chief Whip, said Caral NiChuilin’s refusal was “nothing short of an insulting snub to those who had campaigned tirelessly to maintain this significant part of North Antrim’s rich heritage.”

Mr Swann added: “Following the disappointing decision by the North Eastern Education and Library Board to cease using the school for educational and interactive activities for primary school children, I have been working with the trustees and other interested parties to secure a positive future for the school.

“Taking into account the Sinn Fein Culture Minister’s remit to promote our history and culture, I thought the Causeway School was an excellent place and was ideally located to avail of the high tourist interest, but unfortunately the Sinn Fein Minister would not even enter into a conversation.

“This is downright disgraceful and insulting.

“I will continue to work to ensure this jewel in the North Antrim tourist crown is not allowed to fade away,” said Assemblyman Swann.

The Causeway School opened in 1915 and closed in 1962, it was built by the Macnaghten family in memory of their father Baron Macnaghten of Runkerry and replaced the original Causeway School which had been in existence from the middle of the nineteenth century. The architect who designed the Causeway School was none other than Clough Williams-Ellis who visited these shores on several occasions. He is renowned for designing and building the picturesque and unique village of Portmeirion in Wales which featured as a backdrop to the 1960’s cult television series ‘The Prisoner’. He also designed the Bushmills Memorial School (Old Grammar School) situated on the Priestland Road in Bushmills.