Suggestion of tourism spin off from Howell murders unwanted and unbelievable

Castlerock, where the bodies of Trevor Buchanan, and Lesley Howell were found in 1991.  Paul Faith/PA Wire

Castlerock, where the bodies of Trevor Buchanan, and Lesley Howell were found in 1991. Paul Faith/PA Wire

The spectre of a tourist trade spin off from the horrific murders by Colin Howell and Hazel Stewart of their partners in Castlerock in 1991 has been described as unwanted and unbelievable by local Ulster Unionist Party Councillor Richard Holmes.

Reacting to comments by DUP councillor Sam Cole who described Howell’s former home as a “focal point” and drew comparisons with the tourist spin off from Game of Thrones,

Colin Howell and Hazel Buchanan.

Colin Howell and Hazel Buchanan.

Councillor Holmes said: “I’m still reeling from the suggestion that we somehow build a tourist offer on the back of these murders.

“The victims’ families were traumatised by the recent TV series and questions were raised in the House of Commons to the Prime Minister. Is councillor Cole seriously suggesting that we offer tourist ships docking in Belfast the option to visit the Giant’s Causeway to see a world heritage site or to visit local beauty spots used as scenes for the global phenomenon that is the Game of Thrones or visit the home of a former dentist and murderer?

“Castlerock is a beautiful coastal town and its association with the Howell/Stewart murders is totally unwanted. Individuals may choose to seek out these spots for whatever their own macabre reasons are but to suggest we look at this as a tourist attraction is simply unbelievable.

“These were sickening acts of murder and it is staggering to think that anyone, never mind a councillor, would be seeing a money making opportunity.”