“Now, even Hugh Orde accepts that Mountpottinger Barracks must go!” – Ó Donnghaile
Speaking after attending a meeting organised by the Policing Board's Community Engagement Committee in the Kings Hall Belfast, Sinn Féin's East Belfast Representative Niall Ó Donnghaile has said he is 'not surprised' that Hugh Orde now accepts the fallacy of maintaining Mountpottinger PSNI base.
Mr Ó Donnghaile said,
"At tonight's (Thursday) meeting I challenged Hugh Orde and members of the Policing Board directly on the scandalous costs in retaining Mountpottinger PSNI Base. I made him and the audience aware of the fact that over £121,000 was spent on the base between April '06 and April '07, even though a mere 16 people used it last year and only one small neighbourhood team is based in it on a part time basis.
I took note of several statements made by Hugh Orde in his response to my question from the floor; statements such as,
"Mountpottinger is a crazy waste of money"
"No-one particularly wants it"
"Police officers don't want to work in those conditions"
"Mountpottinger will go"
These are very interesting remarks and I and the community in the Short Strand hope they are matched by actions from the PSNI and the Policing Board. In light of his comments I will be writing to those such as DUP MLA Robin Newton who has championed the retention of this base to see if he will now accept, like the majority of people, that it is time for Mountpottinger to go."