Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Hard headed MoD looking their pound of flesh

5 December, 2007

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty, speaking following a meeting with British Secretary of Defence Des Browne in London today, says it is clear that the MoD are attempting to sell Lisanelly and St Lucia in Omagh and all other vacated military sites across the six counties at full market value even though they acquired most of these sites through mandatory vesting orders and little financial outlay.

He said,

"I had requested this meeting with Des Browne to put to him the growing demand that the vacated MoD sites at Lisanelly and St Lucia in Omagh to be transferred to the Six County Executive for the development of an educational village and other socio-economic regeneration projects.

"However, from the off Des Browne said that it was his intention to secure the maximum financial gain for the MoD from not only the sale of Lisanelly and St Lucia in Omagh but through the sale of all vacated military sites across the six counties to so as to finance the British Military "commitments at home and abroad."

"Given that most of the sites acquired by the MOD in the six counties were through mandatory vesting orders with minimum financial outlay involved it is clear that the MoD want their pound of flesh.

"However, he did concede that the issue of Lisanelly and St Lucia is still on the desk of the British Prime Minister and if Gordon Browne can make up the shortfall in the MoD budget in some other way in order to facilitate transfer of these to the Executive then he would not be against it.

"Martin Mc Guinness has been lobbying Gordon Browne intensively on the Lisanelly and St Lucia issue and will continue to do so, and for the remainder of today and tomorrow I will be continuing with lobby meetings with key political figures with influence on these issues and we will keep the pressure up on the British government to deliver a successful outcome for not only the people of Omagh but for the people west of the Bann as a whole." ENDS

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