Belfast Telegraph

Balmoral Show: Blame the DUP for Maze traffic jams, says Martin McGuinness

By Rebecca Black

Huge tailbacks to get into the Balmoral Show and massive traffic jams around the Maze site will continue until the DUP agrees to a peace and reconciliation centre there, the Deputy First Minister has suggested.

Martin McGuinness yesterday denied accusations by Peter Robinson that Sinn Fein was holding up a road-building project to ease traffic congestion around the Balmoral Show.

But he said the DUP had let him down over the development of a peace-building and conflict resolution centre at the Maze/Long Kesh site.

Visitors faced long waits to enter the show again yesterday morning on its second day as tens of thousands travelled from across Northern Ireland to the huge agricultural show.

>>Balmoral Show results - Day 2 <<

A new £20m road connecting the M1 to the Maze site was promised in 2013 after the first Balmoral Show. So far, nothing has happened.

First Minister Mr Robinson blamed the hold-up on Sinn Fein earlier this week.

"Sinn Fein really do need to move on the issue of the entrance and egress from the motorway, that is being held back," he said. "Anybody that asks us here today what is happening with it, we are telling them it is Sinn Fein holding it up."

But at the show yesterday Mr McGuinness said the delay was due to the DUP "not holding up their side of the bargain".

"That is not a fair comment at all from Peter Robinson, this business of people getting into blaming one another invites me to blame the DUP for their refusal to build a peace building and conflict resolution centre, which was supposed to be the jewel in the crown of this site," he said.

Mr McGuinness said he wanted to see the new access road built.

"When this was all started off, developing this site, the agreement between us was that we would move together on the RUAS relocating from the King's Hall to here, and begin the construction of the peace building and conflict resolution centre.

"You can see from the 100,000 people that are going to come here over the few days I have kept my word. It is up to others to keep their word."

Belfast Telegraph