Project Kelvin – in their own words

Guest writer Michael Doherty with a piece on Derry being denied the Project Kelvin Telehouse.

Firstly, a few pointers for anyone considering reading the rest of this post:

1) If you don’t want to read it ... don’t!
(2) If you do decide to read it, please read all of it before making up your mind.
(3) Please don’t use my post as an excuse to make personal accusations or have tit for tat petty rows. Do that on your own pages.
(4) Please please please don't shoot the messenger ...

Most of us have read the cover story in Friday’s Journal, and we all remember the campaign to have the Project Kelvin Telehouse returned to Derry ...

On 19th February 2009 Martin McGuinness said:

I am delighted that the campaign fought by the elected representatives, the business people and supported by the people of has successfully resulted in the reversal of the decision to place the 'Telehouse' in Coleraine instead of Derry. 
The revelation by Martina Anderson of the siting of the 'Telehouse' in a location other than Derry City sparked a united campaign which has seen the decision reversed.

Now that the people of Derry have won this battle I would encourage the business community to use every contact and influence at their disposal to ensure that this project delivers on the potential for jobs and economic spin-off that this type of facility is capable of attracting. I will be there to support them in these endeavours.

Not only will it act as a magnet to attract financial services, ICT companies and other high tech providers but it will greatly enhance the capabilities of our own indigenous companies to expand their operations. It could also assist in creating the opportunity for extended faculties at Magee University positioning it to gain full independent University status.

This was followed up by Martina Anderson, at the Easter Sunday Commemoration - on 4th April 2010 saying:

For too long, Derry has been represented by a brand of nationalism that was content to take the crumbs from the table - happy to sit at the back of the bus. It's time to show that those days are gone. We are no longer second-class citizens and we all have an opportunity to demonstrate that at the May elections.

I was there that day ... I believed her.

Now, before my friends in the SDLP get all smug and cosy, and my friends in Sinn Fein get their knickers in a victimhood twist, please read on ...

On April Fools’ Day 2010 our SDLP MP Mark Durkan had this to say:

We have to recognise that it is not just the telehouse which is nearing completion but the whole Project Kelvin.

This will give us the fastest high-speed link to North America in terms of data and information communication.

To convert that we need a data centre to make sure we can attract the sort of companies and jobs that work on the back of close proximity to a telehouse ...

Winning back the telehouse was like throwing a six on a board game. What we have to do now is to get the rest of the throws right ...

One of the biggest things we have to do is to net the investment in a data centre. That effort is certainly underway with a number of local businesses doing their bit. However, we must also make sure that Invest NI and key government agencies which are meant to help on this are doing their bit ...Derry has a particular advantage which I and others so painstakingly fought to secure. Therefore, government agencies should be supporting us in maximising that.

Jump forward 3 years. On 9th October 2013 (a full five months before Peter and Martin’s obsequious letter to the Tory Chancellor) our MP’s nephew, Mark H Durkan, as Stormont Environment Minister, grants planning permission to the much needed Data Centre ... Guess where? And had this to say:

This is a good news story for Coleraine. I welcome this type of high-tech proposal which boosts economic development. An investment of this size highlights how Coleraine is ideally positioned to harness its’ potential to attract digital companies to invest here, due to its super-fast broadband connectivity.This development will create jobs and will act as a catalyst to stimulate further similar development, consolidating the role of Coleraine as a digital hub for the area...This application was turned around in just nine weeks. Speedy decisions such as this emphasise my Department’s commitment, and mine, to assist business and help strengthen our economy.

STANDING UP FOR DERRY? I think there’s a bit of egg on all their faces ... And while they bicker, it’s Bye bye Project Kelvin. The Faceless Men haven’t gone away, you know.


  1. Great piece Michael.

    A friend of mine contacted Radio Foyle today asking why they weren't doing a piece on it.

    The person on the other end of the phone asked him why didn't he contact SF and ask them about it. He replied that he put something about it on their facebook page and it was removed. He also said that Radio Foyle should be asking questions which concerned the ordinary people.

    He got nowhere as clearly the Shinners must be protected while being permitted to talk shit about what they claim to be doing for Derry...

  2. On another point...

    Patricia Logue of SF was telling pensioners in Brickfield Court that Gary Donnelly and Emmet Doyle and her party are "all the same" ...How much lower can one stoop than take advantage of the elderly to secure votes?

  3. That was funny that Gary Donnelly is now in PSF.

    I've just FB'd (copy/pasted) 'Project Kelvin' on PSF's page..