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DUP blocking development of former prison site - Ruane

5 August, 2014 - by Caitríona Ruane

Sinn Féin MLA Caitríona Ruane has said that the Ulster Aviation Society open day can proceed as requested if the DUP agree to re-open access to the historic prison building.

Ms. Ruane said,

“There was an agreement on the development and use of the entire site which would have opened up its enormous potential in terms of job creation and economic development. 

"This was reflected in the agreed Programmme for Government and was backed by £18m in European funding. 

"This agreement was reached after months of discussion and negotiation and was a compromise position which would open up the protected historic buildings at the Long Kesh site.

 "At the behest of negative voices within the DUP, Peter Robinson then reneged on this agreement, unilaterally stopping all progress and preventing access to the prison building for thousands of tourists and other visitors. That remains the DUP position.

 "The DUP cannot cherry-pick the parts of an agreement which they support and block the elements they have difficulty with. That is not how negotiations work.

 "Sinn Féin is willing today to agree that the UAS open day can proceed as requested if access to the prison buildings is re-instated. We can then come back to discuss the wider issues around the full development of the site."

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