Belfast Telegraph

Ulster Aviation Society: Charity a victim of ongoing squabble

By Amanda Ferguson

The Ulster Aviation Society and its supporters are the victims of an ongoing row between Sinn Fein and the DUP over the future of the Maze-Long Kesh site.

Last month, UAS annual open days did not receive permission from OFMDFM to proceed and now it appears its involvement in the upcoming European Heritage Open Days taking place across Northern Ireland over September 13 and 14 will not materialise either.

First Minister Peter Robinson approved the two-day August event but it was blocked by Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. The DUP will not give the go ahead for a peace and conflict resolution centre on the land outside Lisburn so Sinn Fein blocked the open days organised by the UAS, a sitting site tenant.

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson said the UAS had become victims of Sinn Fein's "narrow political agenda". He said: "It is childish and petty for Sinn Fein to damage the work of the Ulster Aviation Society because a small republican clique demand that certain buildings take priority over everything else on the site."

A few days later Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said the "political process faces its greatest challenge since the Good Friday Agreement negotiations in 1998".

He said Peter Robinson has reneged on the Programme for Government commitment to develop the old Maze-Long Kesh site, and subsequently "job creation opportunities" were lost.

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