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Bid to rename former Robinson Centre after David Ervine fails at Belfast City Council

 

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Regeneration: The Robinson Centre

Regeneration: The Robinson Centre

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Regeneration: The Robinson Centre

A bid by the PUP to rename the former Robinson Centre in east Belfast after the party's former leader David Ervine has been rejected.

The leisure centre, which was named after former DUP leader Peter Robinson, is currently undergoing a £20m regeneration which will see a state-of-the-art facility open on the Montgomery Road site.

The leisure centre is now to be named Lisnasharragh Centre, subject to full ratification from the council, after objections from SDLP and Sinn Fein councillors who argued the name was not inclusive for all sections of the community. It was also argued the original named contravened council policy as the named person was not deceased.

Last night the DUP proposed retaining its existing name, but lost the motion with 34 votes against.

DUP councillors then proposed renaming the facility the Castlereagh Centre, which was also lost by 36 votes.

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Billy Hutchinson with former PUP leader David Ervine in 1999

Billy Hutchinson with former PUP leader David Ervine in 1999

Billy Hutchinson with former PUP leader David Ervine in 1999

 

PUP representatives then proposed for it to be named the David Ervine Centre, who led the party before his death in 2007.

PUP leader councillor Billy Hutchinson said: “In tribute to and in keeping with Council policy, I proposed that we rename the facility the David Ervine Centre.

"An East Belfast stalwart with a remarkable story. A valued contributor to Northern Ireland’s  peace process who both in life and in his untimely death united both traditions.

"Sadly not a single Unionist, with the exception of my own party colleagues, participated in the vote. Instead they chose to abstain.”

“One things clear tonight, it isn’t just Republicans that don’t want a Loyalist about the place.”

Belfast Telegraph