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Welcome for St Josephs church’s return to Sailortown community

7 October, 2008

Sinn Féin Junior Minister and MLA for North Belfast Gerry Kelly has welcomed the return of St Josephs Church to the Sailortown Community. This follow a long campaign by Saoilortown residents following the closure of the church in 2001.

Speaking today Mr Kelly said:

"The announcement that St Josephs Church is to be returned to the Sailortown community for their use is a welcome step by the Down and Connor Diocese.

"Congratulations are due to those of St Josephs congregation and others who have fought tirelessly to prevent the demolition of dereliction of the church since closure in 2001. The fact that the Sailortown Regeneration Group will now be taking the project forward will, I hope, secure the future of St Josephs.

"This is a great step forward for the regeneration of the area. New private and social housing is at present being built around the church which has always been the heartbeat of the docks community.

"I understand that there remains a restricted covenanting on the building which prohibits any religious service. I will be in contact with the diocese on this issue as I have been approached by members of the congregation in order to see this resolved." CRÍOCH

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