Belfast Telegraph

Anger as pipe bomb flung at community project acclaimed by Obama

By Rebecca Black

A cross-community project once praised by US President Barack Obama has been attacked by pipe-bombers.

It's believed the offices of Groundwork NI – the organisation responsible for getting a gate in the peace wall that runs through Alexandra Park opened – were the target of the attack yesterday morning.

A pipe-bomb thrown in Duncairn Gardens at around 11am yesterday struck a parked car, but did not detonate.

The street was then closed to traffic and a number of residents evacuated from their homes as Army bomb experts examined the device.

A 27-year-old male was arrested by police and was being questioned last night.

In 2011 a project aimed at opening up Europe's only park to be divided by a wall came to fruition when, more than 15 years after the barrier went up, a gate was opened allowing people from both communities to explore both sides of the park.

When Mr Obama visited Belfast last year he singled out Groundwork NI director Sylvia Gordon for praise for the effort.

He described the gate as "a small bit of progress" during an address at the Waterfront Hall.

Yesterday Community Relations Council chairman Peter Osborne slammed the attack on Groundwork – a project that his organisation funds.

"This incident is an attack on that work and an attack on a better future for local communities," Mr Osborne told the Belfast Telegraph.

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