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Call for removal of Mountpottinger Barracks ahead of East Belfast DPP meeting

15 February, 2009

East Belfast Sinn Féin Representative Niall O'Donnghaile, speaking ahead of tomorrow night's East Belfast DPP meeting which will focus on the future of Mountpottinger PSNI Barracks, has called for the speedy closure of the Barracks.

Mr Ó Donnghaile has also called for residents to support tomorrow night's protest, outside the barracks at 6pm, to call for its removal.

Mr Ó Donnghaile said,

"For some time now the PSNI have been carrying out a consultation on the future of Mountpottinger Barracks. Both Sinn Féin and the local community made our feelings clear on this issue. We also collected almost a thousand signatures within the Short Strand area calling for its removal.

"This militarised Barracks is an eyesore that has invaded the lives of the people of the Short Strand for too long. It is a symbol of all that was wrong with policing in the North of Ireland and it would go some way in showing this community that the PSNI are serious about getting policing right if this symbol of collusion, intimidation and murder was removed sooner rather than later.

"In practical policing terms the Barracks now serves no purpose. It is a massive drain on the financial resources of the PSNI and even the Chief Constable, Hugh Orde, accepts that this Barracks must go. Tomorrow night's DPP meeting is a chance for residents in the area to make their voices heard on this issue and I would urge them to use this opportunity."

Speaking about tomorrow night's protest and DPP meeting Mr Ó Donnghaile said,

"I would call upon residents in the area to join tomorrow night's protest and ensure that a clear message is sent out that this barracks is not wanted in this community."


note to editors:

1. The East Belfast DPP meeting will take place tomorrow, Monday 16th February, and will be focusing on the future of Mountpottinger Barracks and will be chaired by Sinn Féin councillor, and East Belfast DPP chairperson, Gerard O'Neill.

2. The meeting will take place at 7pm in The Mount Conference Centre, at the junction of Woodstock Link and the Albertbridge Road.

3. Sinn Féin will hold a protest at 6pm, tomorrow night, at Mountpottinger PSNI barracks to call for its removal.

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