Trust should review content at Visitors’ Centre - McKay

NORTH Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has called on the National Trust to review the content of the new Giant’s Causeway Visitors Centre.

Mr McKay said that the way creationism is referred to in the centre “creates the impression that there is a scientific debate” about the age of the causeway and is the result of lobbying by politicians and others.

He said: “The Trust did not make it widely known that they were considering any controversial proposals from the Caleb foundation or senior members of the DUP about creationism.

“I find it unfortunate that they have kick-started another controversy about the Causeway which was totally unnecessary and that has led to ridicule from many scientists including the well known physicist Professor Brian Cox.

“The way the section referring to creationism is written creates an impression that there is a scientific debate over the age of the Earth and of the Causeway.

“An article in the New Statesman makes reference to what the central issue is here: ‘When does “teaching the debate” become ‘creating the false impression of a debate.’

“For the overwhelming majority of local people there is no debate about the age of the earth or the Causeway and one could argue that this should be mentioned in the Centre lest an impression is created that this is the view of people living on the north coast.

“The best solution however would be for the Trust to review the content of the centre and ensure it is a reflection of what the public expect and want from this centre, not an exhibit that is the reflection of extensive political lobbying.

“Everyone is entitled to their views and opinions but the over-emphasis on creationism which is not something that is believed on a significant scale locally shows that the Trust have got the balance wrong and need to be upfront with the public in regard to what proposals the Caleb Foundation put to them and what lobbying was done by politicians who are members of the Caleb Foundation.”

“Let there be no doubt that the new Causeway Centre is an excellent facility that will complement tourism and the economy on the north coast but I think we all want to now disassociate the Causeway with controversy.”