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Views unrepresentative of Short Strand - O'Donnghaile

13 March, 2008

Following on from a report in yesterdays Irish News, East Belfast Sinn Féin representative Niall O Donghaile, has challenged the authors of "A Rough Guide to Ireland" on their comments about the Short Strand.

The tourist guide described the area as a "flashpoint" and further claimed that it is "still inadvisable to visit".

However O Donnghaile said

"These comments are not reflective of the Short Strand I know, the area and its people are welcoming in their attitude toward tourists."

He further stated that,

"The Short Strand community has been to the fore in establishing contacts across the interface in attempts to resolve outstanding issues and to forge a better understanding and relationships with their neighbours in East Belfast.

"Given that at least two of the major developments to be built in Belfast in the near future are if not part of at least within walking distance of the Short Strand, this is obviously not a view which would be shared with the people of the city.

The Short Strand / Ballymacarrett area is steeped in history and the people of the area were at the forefront of the republican struggle for over thirty years. At a time when political tours are becoming increasingly popular is an essential stop on any such tour or for any tourist who wishes to learn more about the conflict in Ireland." Críoch

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