Lagan Valley

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The Lagan Valley (Irish : Cluain an Lagáin, Ulster Scots: Glen Lagan) is an area of Northern Ireland between Belfast and Lisburn. The River Lagan rises on Slieve Croob in County Down and flows generally northward discharging into Belfast Lough. For a section, the river forms part of the border between the counties of Antrim and Down.

The towpath which runs alongside the River between Lisburn and Belfast is popular with walkers, runners, cyclists, dog owners etc. It is a very scenic and peaceful area and is ideal for walking, cycling etc. As a cycle route the towpath forms part of National Cycle Route 9. There are a number of "off route" mountain bike trails along the route.

The Lagan Valley is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The AONB was established in 1965 and the greater part of it lies within the Greater Belfast area.

Political constituency

The Lagan Valley is also the name of a constituency in the House of Commons covering Lisburn and surrounding areas, as well as the Assembly constituency in the same area.

The parliamentary constituency has been a Unionist stronghold. [1] The current MP for the constituency is Jeffrey Donaldson of the Democratic Unionist Party who was first elected as an Ulster Unionist Party candidate in 1997, retaining the seat in 2001. Following his defection to the DUP he retained the seat in 2005. [2]

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The 2005 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland was held on 5 May 2005 and all 18 seats in Northern Ireland were contested. 1,139,993 people were eligible to vote, down 51,016 from the 2001 general election. 63.49% of eligible voters turned out, down 5.1 percentage points from the last general election.

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The Lagan Canal was a 44-kilometre (27 mi) canal built to connect Belfast to Lough Neagh. The first section, which is a river navigation, was opened in 1763, and linked Belfast to Lisburn. The second section from Lisburn to Lough Neagh includes a small amount of river navigation, but was largely built as a canal. At its peak it was one of the most successful of the Irish canals, but ultimately it was unable to compete with road and rail transport, and the two sections were closed in 1954 and 1958. The central section from Sprucefield to Moira was destroyed by the construction of the M1 motorway in the 1960s. Responsibility for most of its remains passed first to the Department of Agriculture and then to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, although the section between Aghalee Bridge and Lough Neagh, including the final ten locks, passed into private ownership. There is an active campaign to re-open the canal, including reinstatement of the central section.

2015 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland

The 2015 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland was held on 7 May 2015 and all 18 seats were contested. 1,236,765 people were eligible to vote, up 67,581 from the 2010 general election. 58.45% of eligible voters turned out, an increase of half a percentage point from the last general election.This election saw the return of Ulster Unionists to the House of Commons, after they targeted 4 seats but secured 2.

References

  1. Ark.ac.uk - Elections
  2. Lagan Valley

Coordinates: 54°32′08″N5°58′44″W / 54.53556°N 5.97889°W / 54.53556; -5.97889