O’Dowd calls on DUP not to jettison £6m peace funding
Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd has called on the DUP to ensure that Councillors on Craigavon Council do not jettison a £6m peace fund which is designed to create shared space in Portadown’s Peoples Park.
The £6m was awarded to the Council by the SEUPB to upgrade the park and create a shared space for the town. The money was awarded in recognition that Portadown has deep divisions which require leadership and vision to overcome.
Mr O’ Dowd said:
“DUP councillors on Craigavon Council at the behest of the Orange Order plan to push through a motion at the Council’s Monday night meeting which will see the Council reject £6m of European peace money.
“The DUP leadership have quite rightly endorsed efforts to build a shared community, they have recognised there is no quick fix solution and that stunt politics will not create shared space or a united community.
“The DUP should not allow the Orange Orders stunt politics over Portadown Peoples Park to set the agenda. The DUP recognise that it will take up to 10 years for peace walls to come down, are they seriously suggesting shared space in Portadown will happen overnight?
“The SEUPB supported the project to build shared space in recognition it did not already exist anywhere in Portadown. The DUP leadership surely recognise to reject the EU peace money will make shared space less likely than more.
“Creating Shared Space and building an united community was never going to be easy but to reject £6m of EU peace money because of one stumble will be a huge mistake which will be difficult to recover from.”