Allister furious after ‘IRA terror fest’ held in council leisure centre

Whiterock Leisure Centre in Belfast
Whiterock Leisure Centre in Belfast

TUV leader Jim Allister has hit out at Belfast City Council for allowing “an IRA terror fest” to take place on one of their premises.

Mr Allister has questioned why Whiterock Leisure Centre was allowed to be used for the event on Saturday.

Promotional leaflets for the event, billed to run from 8pm to late, said, ‘Remember our Volunteers Committee presents A Commemoration and Celebration Event’.

Mr Allister said: “On Saturday 29th March 2014 Belfast City Council’s Whiterock Leisure Centre was the setting for an IRA terror fest, celebrating their dead ‘volunteers’. Why did the City Council allow its premises to be used for such purposes; who booked it; what fee was paid? These are all questions I will be pursuing with City Hall.

“Also, was a licence obtained for the consumption of alcohol, which is evident in several photographs of the event? Or, was this the product of allowing anything Sinn Fein types want to happen at any time on this council property?”

Last night a spokeswoman for Belfast City Council said: “The council’s Parks and Leisure Committee agreed to allow the use of Whiterock Leisure Centre by Cumann Spoirt an Phobail for a community celebration event in the fields of sport, culture and development.

“This included a bar and a normal booking fee was charged. Any complaint of inappropriate use would have to be investigated.”

Mr Allister said he further intends to ask Environment Minister Mark H Durkan to investigate how a civic community facility under the control of Belfast City Council “came to be used for paramilitary displays and commemoration of terrorists”.

He said: “The ugly culture of Sinn Fein wallowing in the terrorist exploits of the IRA is not new, but misusing publicly funded leisure facilities for that purpose is more than the ratepayers of Belfast should have to bear.”

Sinn Fein declined to comment.