Belfast Telegraph

Falls Road flats to be demolished

Flats where a west Belfast man was killed are to be demolished, it has been revealed.

Former IRA prisoner Frank 'Bap' McGreevy, 51, was murdered in his Ross Street home, Falls Road, in March 2008.

Social Development Minister Alex Attwood has pledged to remove the properties as they have become a hotbed of anti-social behaviour.

He said: "I recognise that these flats have had a difficult, and at times, very dark past. It has become more and more evident to me that we need not just new housing here, but also a much improved environment, to make the area not vulnerable to the activity of anti-social elements and more appealing for those who will live here."

Thomas Valliday, 22, from Lady Street, Belfast, was convicted last February of killing Mr McGreevy. He was high on a cocktail of drink and drugs when he battered him with a variety of weapons including a pick-axe handle.

The trial heard that in the aftermath of the attack, Valliday attacked two other men and two cars in the nearby Clonard area.

Mr Attwood added the revised plans, drawn up by the Housing Executive on the minister's instructions, involved demolition of 12 flats, two houses and six cottages in the area. A total of 11 new family homes will bring more people to live on this site.

"I believe the plans I am publishing today represent a good chance to address all of the issues raised with me and I am determined to move them on without further delay," he said.

"I want to hear what residents think of our plans and subject to those views, expect to be able to have the final plans drawn up as early as October this year."

Sinn Fein Assembly member Fra McCann said the flats had been a blight on the community, being used night after night for anti-social activity. "I welcome the change of heart from the minister given his predecessor's solid opposition to follow through with such an move. I will now be seeking an urgent meeting with the minister, Alex Attwood, as soon as possible to discuss the redevelopment process for Ross Street."

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