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Unionist fifth column trying to foil stadium

Published 01/04/2008

The Belfast Telegraph is quite right that not many unionists have publicly supported the Maze project (Opinion, March 29), but I know that there is sizeable support in both unionist parties.

However, the tactics of the 'Windsor Park' and the 'Belfast only' lobbies have manipulated public opinion to suggest that support for the Maze Stadium is also support for glorifying dead IRA terrorists.

Unfortunately, we have too many unionist schizophrenics, who are running scared of dead IRA terrorists but are happy to see ex-IRA terrorists, who regret not having killed more British soldiers during the Troubles, in the heart of our Government.

The logic of that position is, of course, that if we cannot have the Maze, surely we cannot tolerate the current composition of the Executive!

For 40 years the IRA bombed and burned the heart out of our economy. Northern Ireland became an international pariah and very few international events were held here.

The object was to destroy Northern Ireland and show the world that we were not a viable, political entity.

That campaign failed, but now there is a unionist fifth column ready to continue that sort of damage by denying us a huge, prestigious investment that will enable us to share in national and international sporting and cultural events. Singlehandedly, they are investing IRA hunger strikers, who died in vain, with the power to continue their campaign of inflicting economic damage on Northern Ireland.

I could perhaps begin to understand their mindset if the IRA campaign of terror had succeeded, but it did not. Northern Ireland is still part of the UK; Articles II and III have gone; Sinn Fein is in the heart of a British administration at Stormont and a united Ireland is off the political radar.

It is up to Peter Robinson and the Executive to end this farce by confirming Northern Ireland will have a national stadium at the Maze.

Mr Robinson is one of the few professional politicians we have and his record in Castlereagh council and as Finance Minister speaks for itself.

The Maze Stadium will be at the heart of the new Castlereagh/Lisburn Council which will come into operation in 2011 and it will be a monument to his vision and leadership.

The factors now causing such angst amongst the backwoodsmen of both unionist parties will, by then, be of no significance whatever.

CLLR Ronnie Crawford

UUP, Lisburn City Council

Belfast Telegraph

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