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RNU must explain latest threat to the community – Gerry Kelly

13 September, 2009 - by Gerry Kelly

Sinn Féin north Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly has condemned those representatives from the so-called ‘Republican Network for Unity’ who have threatened to protest at multi-agency meetings held in Ardoyne.
Speaking today Mr Kelly said;
“A representative of RNU came to the Ardoyne Community Centre on Friday while the regular multi-agency meeting was taking place which myself and other elected representatives were attending. He threatened to protest and disrupt any future multi-agency meetings.
This follows the RNU attending a residents meeting in the Holy Cross family centre last Monday and attempting not only to disrupt that meeting but to prevent the setting up of a residents committee for Mountain View and the Dales.
While I defend anyone’s right to protest, I do challenge the RNU’s reasons for being against residents’ groups forming to discuss any issues which affect them and residents rights to challenge and bring to account the statutory agencies whose job it is to service communities in the wider Ardoyne area.
Sinn Féin political representative will not be deterred from representing the people of North Belfast who elected us to represent them at all levels of forums, including multi-agency meetings which take place on a fortnightly basis.
The purpose of multi-agency meetings, which are open to all residents, is to bring to account all the statutory bodies who service the community. These include the Housing Executive, Belfast Education and Library Board, Belfast City Council, Good Relations Unit, the Fire & Rescue Service, the PSNI, Youth Justice Agency, Victims support, amongst others.
Schools, Community groups and local residents attend these meetings also to identify and resolve local problems and issues.
RNU, I am told, stands for Republican Network for Unity. All the evidence I have is that they represent division and negativity. They have no mandate within the community.
Perhaps they would tell us their strategy for dealing with key issues that are raised at these meetings and how they intend to solve the problems within communities like Ardoyne. This would certainly be more productive than protesting against residents and representatives from local schools, the churches, and the local community.” CRÍOCH

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