Call goes out for Praxis promise

As the Northern Ireland Assembly took up Praxis Care’s cause a call went out for Historic Royal Palaces to give the charity a firm promise as to its future at Hillsborough Castle.

The call came from leading Secret Garden campaigner and NI21 local election candidate Neil McNickle, who spoke of relief that Praxis had “taken a step closer to keeping its cafe and walled garden at Hillsborough Castle”.

The Secret Garden is staffed by seven people, along with 16 people with learning difficulties, who face eviction as part of the transfer of the site from Northern Ireland Office to HRP control.

Mr McNickle welcomed news of an Assembly motion calling for the Secretary of State to let the charity remain, but added: “The fact that the Secretary of State and HRP have refused to listen to the strength of feeling, or indeed even consult the local community on the issue, is totally unacceptable.

“Ideally we would like HRP to move beyond vague promises and make a firm promise to the Praxis service users and staff as to their future at the Hillsborough Castle site.”

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