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Victims and voters deserve better in H-Block row

One has to commend both Edwin Poots and Jeffrey Donaldson for their calibrated efforts in trying to justify the unjustifiable retention of a H-Block memorial to 10 hunger strikers at the Maze.

Both are actually driving a further wedge through unionism as they have failed to acknowledge, or work with, fellow unionists in opposing the questionable listed protection regarding the H-Blocks.

One cannot airbrush out the fact that the original request in 2005 by Sinn Fein to the Historic Building Council for listed protection for the Maze H-Blocks failed by five votes to one.

The council stated "they did not feel the buildings in the complex were unique, nor had they any special architectural value".

With this in mind, and conscious that listing status was then only provided because of their direct connection with IRA violence, it is an enigma why any unionist would support, or endorse, a purpose-built Conflict Resolution Centre to complement them.

Jeffrey should realise that it's not marginalised unionists, armchair or indeed Johnny-come-lately politicians as Edwin has stated, who oppose a H-Block memorial, but none other than their deputy leader Nigel Dodds MP, when he said - in June 2007 - "however it is dressed up, whatever spin is deployed, the section of the H-Blocks would become a shrine to terrorists".

This unambiguous statement is in stark contrast to the political alignment Edwin and Jeffrey have deployed with Sinn Fein.

The electorate of Lagan Valley and the victims of IRA terrorism past and current deserve better.

RUTH HOEY

Hillsborough, Co Down

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