Statement by TUV Leader Jim Allister:
“Playing with words over what won’t or will be within the proposed new Conflict Centre does not address a key issue concerning the Maze.
“What is the plan for the existing prison buildings, the IRA citadel buildings of the hospital and the H block? Sinn fein has been very clear on this issue with Raymond McCartney MLA boasting, “The listed and retained buildings…will be open to the public. There will be the opportunity for the many stories of the gaol to be told” (see http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/22471). The DUP remains silent on the issue, though Jeffrey Donaldson has insulted the intelligence of us all by saying Bobby Sands name won’t even be mentioned!
“Will the buildings be closed, or open? If open, for what purpose? We need to know the agreed DUP/Sinn Fein position.
“We already know they are presently available for tours and that OFMDFM has spent £260,000 maintaining the buildings. For what purpose? Moreover, it is suggested they are closing in September for further work. Why and do the DUP expect us to believe they won’t even open again. I’ve tabled this Assembly Question to the Joint First Ministers:-
To ask OFMDFM is it intended that the listed buildings on the Maze site are intended to be closed from in or about September 2013 for remedial work; if so, what remedial work is intended and at what cost; and is it agreed that the buildings will not reopen thereafter.
“The DUP now say they are tied to the Conflict Centre having to be on the Maze site because that can’t be changed without Sinn Fein’s permission. Likewise, if the prison buildings have hitherto been open, how could they now be sealed up without Sinn Fein’s permission? And pigs don’t fly!”