Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:
“I welcome the very clear and robust statement issued by the Grand Orange Lodge this morning.
“The concerns expressed in the statement accurately reflect the feelings of the wider community in Northern Ireland.
“In recent days many people have been disgusted by Republican attempts to re-write history and portray themselves as victims rather than perpetrators. We saw this time and time again when people like Evelyn Glenholmes (who was once sought by police over a series of IRA terrorist offences) attacked Ann’s Law. The Maze project – which will see a so-called “Peace Centre” built in the vicinity of buildings which will inevitably become a shrine to the IRA – will only serve to aid Republicans in their efforts to re-write history and portray terrorists as no different from their victim.
“I hope that this statement will add to the growing pressure on the DUP to stop their plans for the site and instead focus on making the Maze site a centre for investment and job creation. That is something everyone in Northern Ireland could support. Why make it a site of controversy by preserving the ugly prison buildings and constructing a “Peace Centre” near the buildings which will for ever be associated with the IRA Hunger Strikes and dirty protests?
“The DUP had gone out of their way to try and sell this project to the Orange – even arranging a personal tour of the site with Peter Robinson and Jeffery Donaldson. I am glad that they were able to see through the “spin” which Nigel Dodds warned about in 2007.
“I would appeal to all those concerned about the DUP/Sinn Fein plans for the Maze to come along to Lisburn Orange Hall on Thursday 20th June at 8pm to attend the public rally which has been organised.”