DCSIMG

DUP continue to defend Maze project

First Minister Peter Robinson, Terence Brannigan, Chair, Maze Long Kesh Development Corporation and deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness

First Minister Peter Robinson, Terence Brannigan, Chair, Maze Long Kesh Development Corporation and deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness

The main unionist party still in favour of a conflict transformation centre at the former Maze prison has continued to defend its position.

In response to the RUC GC Widows Association’s criticism of the proposal - which would see a new interpretive centre constructed on the sprawling site near Lisburn - the DUP has again stressed the retained prison hospital will not become a “shrine” to republican hunger strikers.

Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson said he could guarantee that “there will be nothing in the new peace centre that will glorify terrorism”.

Mr Donaldson served as a corporal in the Ulster Defence Regiment for a number of years and has previously spoken out against the proposal.

However, the DUP is now firmly behind the plan to develop the site.

Mr Donaldson told the BBC’s The View programme on Thursday night: “I put on the uniform of the Crown to fight against the IRA, I had members of my family circle murdered by the IRA.

“I am not going to stand over anything that would glorify the actions of the IRA in any sense whatsoever.”

Writing on the party’s website in recent weeks, he said: “Despite our attempts, the buildings cannot be legally delisted.”

He added: “There is a lot of misinformation in the public domain about the construction of the new Peace Centre which is designed to look to the future.”

“It is somewhat ironic that the Ulster Unionist Party who now shout about the prison buildings were fully involved in the completion of the initial report and who done nothing to oppose the listing of the buildings.”

 

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