Article shows importance of journalism

SIR, — The debacle of the private meeting held on January 31 between Newry, Moutrnre and Down Council’s Enterprise Regeneration and Tourism Committee and the Commissioners of Irish Lights has highlighted the importance of the role of the Down Recorder in providing information to the local communities.

People need feel connected and to know what is going on, but the press and the public were excluded from the recent meeting where plans for St John’s Point Lighthouse were discussed.

However, the furtive activity of publicly funded groups has been highlighted and they must be held to account.

We greatly appreciate the support of the councillors who spoke for us at the meeting and, most importantly, reiterated their promise to protect the present mechanism/sweeping beam of the lighthouse.

The Down Recorder has followed the lighthouse campaign since January 2015 and we are grateful to David Telford and the photographers who have covered all the various events whatever the weather, time or location.

Trusted local journalism is an essential force in our democracy — let’s keep on picking up our local paper.

Yours etc,