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UUP slam attempts to create Newtownabbey 'sectarian ghetto'

By Jonathan Bell

Published 17/08/2015

Graffiti appeared on a wall close to the the new development on the site of the former Felden training centre on the Mill Road on Sunday night. Pic: UUP
Graffiti appeared on a wall close to the the new development on the site of the former Felden training centre on the Mill Road on Sunday night. Pic: UUP

The Ulster Unionist Party has condemned those behind a graffiti attack in Newtownabbey saying they are intent on creating a "sectarian ghetto" at the new housing development.

Graffiti appeared on a wall close to the the new development on the site of the former Felden training centre on the Mill Road on Sunday night.

It warns that Protestants will be "bombed out, burnt out and shot".

There is also a warning to an employee of Clanmil Housing Association, which is behind the development.

Sandwiched between the hardline republican area of Bawnmore and Longlands, construction is underway on 97 homes.

Sunday night's attack is the latest in a series of incidents at the site.

UUP Newtownabbey spokesman, Andy Allen condemned the latest incident.

He said: "I am absolutely disgusted at the latest attempt to whip up community tensions in north Belfast.

“Right at the outset of this project many people had concerns that the Felden site was not suitable for developing shared housing given its proximity to the hard-line republican areas such as Bawnmore and Longlands.

"This graffiti incident is the latest in a number of incidents which are clearly designed to intimidate Protestants who may be thinking of applying for housing in the new development.

“It is a sad fact that north Belfast endured a long history of ethnic cleansing of Protestants from areas such as the Cliftonville Road, Antrim Road, and Torrens estate.

"This weekend saw a sectarian attack on property on Skegoneil Avenue.

"Clearly in spite of fine words of a shared future, and the noble intention of creating an area of shared housing, there are elements within the nationalist and republican community who are not prepared to share the Felden Housing site with anyone from a Protestant or unionist community background.”

A spokeswoman for Clanmil Housing said: "Work is progressing well on the construction of 97 much-needed high quality new homes on the site of the former Felden campus in Newtownabbey.

"We are really looking forward to the first families moving into the new homes in early Autumn  and hope that the local community will make them feel welcome.

"We are deeply concerned that graffiti has appeared in the area with the intention of intimidating  people who need a home and we would urge anyone with information about this  to report it to  the police.

"We are grateful to people in the local area who are continuing to work with us to make this scheme a success for everyone."

Police are investigating and have appealed for information.

 

 

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