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Sinn Féin demand closure of Mountpottinger Barracks

25 October, 2006

East Belfast Sinn Féin Representative Niall O'Donnghaile today demanded the speedy closure of Mountpottinger PSNI Barracks in the Short Strand and its replacement with affordable homes. Mr O'Donnghaile's remarks came after a consultation was launched on the future of the military fortress.

Mr O'Donnghaile said:

"The Mountpottinger base is an eyesore which has invaded the lives of the people of the Short Strand for too long. It serves no useful purpose in the Short Strand and there is universal support in this area for its removal.

"The Short Strand has for many years endured a chronic shortage of affordable social housing. There are plans to develop the Mountpottinger site for much needed homes. There is a feeling locally that opposition to the closure of this fortress being mounted by unionist politicians is little more than an attempt to prevent Short Strand residents being able to stay and live within the community where they have grown up due to a shortage of suitable accommodation.

"It is interesting to note that none of those who have voiced opposition to the closure of the Mountpottinger base either live in or receive support from the people who actually live in this area. Sinn Féin will continue to support efforts to see the base closed and the fortress removed from within this community." ENDS

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