Extract from speech by TUV leader Jim Allister to the Lisburn protest against building the Conflict Resolution Centre at the Maze:-
“From no terrorists in government to IRA Commander as Joint First Minister; from no stadium at the Maze, because of the threat of a Shrine, to a ‘Conflict Transformation Centre’ capable only of being built beside the very Shrine buildings: that is the sad transformation of the DUP. Such is what happens when you end up in hock to IRA/Sinn Fein.
“The Conflict Transformation Centre is planned for the Maze because Sinn Fein would agree to it no where else. And in this government, what Sinn Fein wants Sinn Fein gets. But what of the people, what of the victims of the IRA, what about what they want? When were they consulted? The truth is never.
“The FOI record shows multiple meetings with prisoners’ groups, but not a single meeting with an innocent victims group. No consultation, no justice. Well, much as they might like to ignore victims and public opinion, this Petition gives the public a voice.
“If listening to Sinn Fein is more important to Peter Robinson than listening to the tens of thousands of law abiding citizens who will sign this petition, then he knows what answer to expect when next he comes looking for the votes of those tens of thousands of signatories. Now is your time to choose, Mr Robinson! Are you on the side of victims or victim-makers?
“Let me make it very clear, we are not opposed to economic development at the Maze, but, we are most assuredly opposed to anything which permits the glorification of terrorism, any terrorism, republican or loyalist. If we need a Conflict Transformation Centre then, why build it on the singularly most divisive site in Northern Ireland, the most politically toxic site you can find, because of the presence of the IRA citadel buildings where the Hunger Strike was staged. It is that which brands this site across the world and it is that which will brand the Conflict Transformation Centre. As Nigel Dodds so famously said “However it is dressed up, whatever spin is deployed, the preservation of a section of the H-Blocks – including the hospital wing – would become a shrine to the terrorists who committed suicide in the Maze in the 1980s. That would be obnoxious to the vast majority of people and is something unionist people cannot accept.”
“It’s not too late for the DUP to get off this hook, to get off the shrinking ground on which they stand. Who wants this project, apart from Sinn Fein, their ex prisoners and their new prisoners, the DUP? Innocent victims demonstrably don’t; RUC George Cross Association don’t; the UDR/RIR Associations don’t; Prison Officers don’t; the single largest mass membership unionist body, The Orange Order, don’t; The UUP don’t; UKIP don’t; TUV don’t; indeed, anyone with any sense of right and wrong doesn’t want it! So, DUP catch yourselves on and get onto the side of right and honour.
“Ann’s law was a victory for victims; let defeat of the glorification of the victim-makers at the Maze be the next victory in the fight back for truth and justice.”