The Ulster Unionist Party, TUV and UKIP have announced that they will be holding a major public rally against the planned “Conflict Resolution Centre” at the Maze on Thursday 20th June at 8pm in Lisburn Orange Hall.
In a joint statement Tom Elliott, Jim Allister and David McNarry said:
“The announcement that all 10 branches of the RUC George Cross Association have condemned the decision to press ahead with the so-called “Conflict Resolution Centre” at the Maze is yet more confirmation of the huge unease within the community about the DUP/Sinn Fein plans. The RUC George Cross Association is only the latest in a long list of non-political organisations which has expressed such fears.
“Many of those organisations will be joining with us on Thursday 20th June at 8pm at a public meeting to be held in Lisburn Orange Hall.
“During the consultation process OFMdFM failed to consult with innocent victims about their plans for the site but had numerous meetings with ex-prisoner groups. We believe that it is important that those who suffered at the hands of those imprisoned in the Maze are allowed a voice. That will be a big part of the meeting on 20th June.
“Thousands of people have already signed the petition calling for a halt to the building of a “peace centre” on the site of the Maze prison and the immediate demolition of the prison buildings. People across Northern Ireland recognise that Nigel Dodds was correct when he warned: “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.”
“Now the DUP are engaged in the very spin their own deputy leader warned about!
“We are emphatically not opposed to economic development of the site. In fact we believe the Maze site is an ideal location for development with its proximity to the M1 and our ports and airports. Everyone could support its development and the use of it to bring much needed investment. However, the rally on the 20th will give ordinary people from across Northern Ireland an opportunity to demonstrate their opposition to the building of a “peace centre” cheek by jowl beside the buildings which imprisoned those who robbed this land of peace in the first place.”