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'Amazing Grace' viewing point opens in Buncrana 05.10.13

A VIEWING platform has been unveiled in Buncrana as part of the ongoing 'Amazing Grace' initiative in the area.
Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness MLA and Junior Minister, Jonathan Bell, MLA officially opened the viewing point, located on an existing viewing platform near the town's Stone Jug, at an event on Friday afternoon. The opening was also attended by Nobel laureate John Hume, the town's mayor and clergy.
The viewing point has been created as part of the ‘Amazing Grace Heritage Experience’ which recounts how slave trader John Newton was inspired to write the world famous hymn after taking refuge in Lough Swilly from a violent storm in the Atlantic Ocean in 1748.
Cutting of the ribbon on the Amazing Grace viewing point in Buncrana (left to right) Jonathan Bell, MLA, Office of the First Minister, Cllr Peter Mc Laughlin, Mayor of Buncrana, and Martin Mc Guinness, MLA, deputy First Minister.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: “As one of the world’s best known hymns, ‘Amazing Grace’ has world-wide appeal that will draw people to this beautiful part of Ireland, where John Newton started his spiritual journey.
“Opening the viewing point today reminds us that history is part of our past but it also shapes and helps to build our future. All those involved in the Amazing Grace initiative are to be congratulated for their vision in bringing together different religious, social, cultural and economic interests for the benefit of the whole community."
Mr Bell said Newton’s life story told of a "remarkable journey".
"It is extraordinary to think that John Newton’s safe delivery to these shores at Buncrana on that fateful night of April 8, 1748 inspired him to write one of the most well known and best loved hymns in the world.
"I commend Buncrana Town Council and the Amazing Grace initiative for the inspired approach that has brought this initiative to life. I have every confidence that it will be blessed with success," he added.
Under the Leader programme the Inishowen Development Partnership supported and funded the project as part of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013.
“Buncrana Town Council and the Amazing Grace Initiative would like to thank Inishowen Development Partnership (Leader) and the Department of Environment , Community and Local Government for their support under the National Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 in making this project happen," said a spokesperson.
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