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Assembly to debate transfer of former British Army Barracks to local Executive

9 April, 2008

A Sinn Fein motion, calling upon the British government to transfer lands at the vacated military sites at Lisanelly and St Lucia in Omagh to the Assembly Executive to facilitate the development of the Education Village as proposed by the Omagh Educational Campus Group, is to be debated by the full Assembly next Monday, 14th April.

A joint statement Sinn Fein's three West Tyrone MLAs Pat Doherty, Barry Mc Elduff and Claire Mc Gill, who are co-sponsors of Monday's motion, said:

"If this motion secures the unanimous backing of the Assembly, which we believe it will, it will represent a major boost in the efforts to get the British government to transfer the necessary lands at these vacated military sites for this unique secondary Education Village Campus.

"Recently, the British Secretary of State Shaun Woodward said that the continued failure to make a decision on the Long Kesh/Maze site, was undermining the case for seeking the transfer of additional lands like Lisanelly and St Lucia from the British Government to the Assembly Executive.

"The unanimous backing of the Assembly for our motion will remove this red herring of an argument belatedly introduced by Shaun Woodward and re-focus attention back on the British government's lack of vision and political will on this issue to date.

"For this visionary project, in which a space which was used for such negatives purposes in the past would to go on to be used for such a positive purposes would provide an inspirational beacon to the world in terms of conflict transformation.

"The British government has within its gift the ability to make this happen and must be made to rise above short-term selfish financial considerations and look at the bigger picture." ENDS

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