Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Maze will not be a shrine to terror

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David Logan (Write Back, December 19) states '... Edwin Poots and Jeffrey Donaldson are implicit in a pact which combines a national stadium and an H-Block memorial to the 10 republican hunger strikers who died at the Maze'.

If this was correct it would indeed, as Mr Logan suggests, be disgusting and intolerable, but it is not and Mr Logan has no basis for making such an unfounded and unwarranted attack upon us.

As elected members for Lagan Valley, we serve a very large population of prison officers who served in the Maze Prison, and police officers who apprehended the terrorists that were incarcerated there, and are acutely aware of the sacrifice they and their families have made.

We have both been targeted by republican terrorists because of the stance we have taken against them and to suggest we would in any way be implicitly or otherwise engaged in a process to create a memorial to 10 hunger strikers is both hurtful and untruthful. We have at all times made our opposition to the retained element at the Maze Prison very clear and met with the Environmental Heritage Service and expressed our opposition to their decision to list the buildings now retained.

When that decision was taken our party then moved to neutralise whatever could take place at the retained part of the prison and successfully negotiated into the final Maze plan a clause that states the retained element must be 'neutral, inclusive and constructive.' Contrary to what David Logan asserts, we were proactive in dealing with the problem. The question to him is what did he do at the time?

Our position is very clear and will remain so, whatever is built at the Maze, whether it is a stadium or any other development, we will not support anything that would be akin to creating a 'shrine' at the retained element.



Jeffrey Donaldson and Edwin Poots, Lagan Valley

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