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Demand To Close Anderstown Barracks

23 January, 2004

West Belfast Sinn Féin Assembly member Michael Ferguson has demanded that Andersonstown Barracks be closed permanently and the land returned to the local community. Mr Ferguson was speaking after the announcement that the base would now close at night.

Mr Ferguson said:

" The fact is that Anderstown Military Base is a blight on this area and provides no service for the local community. Its function is to spy on and intimidate the local population. The vast majority of people in West Belfast are demanding that this eyesore is removed from our community and the land used for regeneration purposes.

" Closing the base at night will be of little consequence as nobody living in this area visits it any way, night or day. It is my belief that the failure to close this base permanently is yet further evidence of the British government reneging on its commitments to demilitarise its war machine in our country.

" The decision will also clearly cause deep embarrassment for the SDLP whose local representative Alex Attwood announced last year the he has secured a commitment to close the base through his membership of the Policing Board. Clearly working from within flawed policing structures doesn't work and doesn't deliver." ENDS

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