Newry to mark 200 years of business with new history book

  • Photo: Emma Marmion and Michael McKeown

    A new ledger styled book called ‘The Business of Newry’ is being written to represent the 200th year of the city’s business.

    Documents recently uncovered by former Chamber president Michael McKeown show an active Newry Chamber of Commerce operating in the 1820’s. It was deeply involved in the infrastructural project of the Newry Sea Canal. The scheme stemmed more than twenty years and included the building of the Albert Basin and the Victoria Locks at a cost of £72,000 (£80m today). This discovery will serve as a focal point for the new commemorative book.

    Current president of Newry’s Chamber of Commerce and Trade, Emma Marmion said: “It is remarkable that our Chamber has played the same role over the past decade in respect of the Southern Relief Road.”

    Michael McKeown is also the publisher of two Newry-focussed history books, ‘The Book of Newry’ and ‘The History of Newry Post Office’. He said: “I was very excited to find a series of letters in the National Archives from various presidents of the Chamber written in the 1820’s to the Chief Secretary’s office at Dublin Castle.

    RELATED: £40m Newry health hub to be developed after years of delay

    "The documents include great detail on the planning and costing of the sea canal and most importantly where the vast sum of money to construct was sourced. When I mentioned the find to my fellow directors, the die was cast and now I have to manufacture the book to match the ambition.”

    Michael has recruited a literary team headed by Tony Canavan, author of ‘Frontier Town, An Illustrated History’. Tony is contracted to edit the contributions from a group that includes Dr Mary Goss, Ian Heaney, Francis Gallagher, Chris Cassidy, Peter Makem, Rowan Hand, Maud Hamill, Marjorie Harshaw and Claudine Coyle.

    The book will cover aspects of manufacture, invention, adaptation, engineering, science, building, transport and education.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

    Got a news-related tip you’d like to see covered on Sync NI? Email the editorial team for our consideration.

Share this story