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Sinn Féin call for Interfaces Forum

22 April, 2008

Sinn Féin Chief Whip and North Belfast MLA Carál Ní Chuilín has called for the setting up of an Interfaces Forum including elected representatives, statutory authorities and representatives from the community and civic society to deal with the issues associated with interfaces.

Speaking during a Sinn Fein sponsored Assembly Adjournment debate on Interfaces in North Belfast, Ms Ní Chuilín called on politicians to be bold and brave.

Ms Ní Chuilín said:

"These areas face huge disadvantage and live with a lack of investment and high levels of poverty.

"There are also specific health problems.

"In parts of the North Belfast there is also a huge failure to provide adequate housing and this is the challenge to the Housing Executive."

She also raised concerns about young people using the internet and mobile phones to organise trouble.

The North Belfast MAL added:

"We need to start work now to tackle the tensions that build up around the marching season.

"And we need to step forward. We need to protect and support our children.

"We need to provide financial support and work in partnership with those community on the ground doing priceless work on the ground.

"We need to look at how we reduce and eradicate the tensions at the interfaces and we need to look at regeneration for these communities.

"This demands genuine bold and brave leadership" ENDS

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