EU Money For Conflict Resolution Centre Welcomed
Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed the £18m of European funding for a Conflict Transformation Centre on the former Long Kesh site.
Mr McCartney said,
“The redevelopment of the Long Kesh site will not only create jobs but will also be a shining example of how the North accepts diversity.
“The building of a Conflict Resolution Centre will see it becoming a venue for assisting other troubled parts of the world and also a resource for those researching the Irish Peace Process.
“From the beginning Sinn Féin have sought to have the Long Kesh site developed in order to maximise the economic, historic and reconciliation potential of the site; this is a site of national and international importance.
“The listed and retained buildings including an H block, the prison hospital, visitors and administration blocks, will be open to the public. There will be the opportunity for the many stories of the gaol to be told.
“As republicans we obviously think of the many people who have went through the gaol throughout its history and of course the prisoners struggle for political status. Others including those who worked there also have their story to tell.
“We need to celebrate diversity and the Long Kesh site is one that has a history that is different to many of us. Respecting each other and each other’s history is essential as we move further away from conflict.
“We believe that there are many benefits for the wider community to engage with the history of the gaol but we now need to see work progress and the site developed and open to the public as soon as possible.
“This funding will I believe kick start the process of transforming the former Long Kesh site into an asset that will serve all the people in the years ahead not only in providing a first class facility in conflict resolution and tourist attraction but also as an economic driver in the Lisburn area.”