Responding to the DUP’s arrogant reaction to Grand Lodge’s statement asking “all our Unionist elected representatives … not to proceed with this fundamentally ill-conceived project” Jim Allister has called on all people from across the Province to attend the rally in Lisburn Orange Hall on Thursday 20th June.
“The DUP claim they are “mystified by the Orange Order statement”. Presumably then they are also “mystified” by the position of the 12 groups representing innocent victims who launched the Charter for Innocent Victims, FAIR and the RUC George Cross Association as well.
“There is not a single group representing innocent victims who supports this project. The victims of terrorism are united in their opposition to the DUP/Sinn Fein plan. That is hardly surprising as at no time did the Office of the Joint First Ministers consult with victims about their plans for the Maze while they did have multiple meetings with ex-prisoner groups.
“Just who do the DUP think they are speaking for when they defend the Maze project? How do they expect to tell a balanced story of what took place during the Troubles when the victims of those who were locked up inside the Maze want nothing to do with a “peace centre” built anywhere near the prison buildings?
“If the DUP really are so out of touch that they are “mystified” as to the stand of the Orange Order let me spell it out in words they may be familiar with: “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.”
“I would appeal to people across Northern Ireland to demonstrate that they are opposed to the so-called “Peace Centre” and the retention of the prison buildings which will inevitably become a shrine to the terrorists who committed suicide in the Maze in the 1980s by coming to the rally organised for Lisburn Orange Hall on Thursday night at 8pm and signing the petition.”