Cautious welcome to Mountpottinger news

Belfast Deputy Mayor and Short Strand Sinn Féin Councillor, Joe O’Donnell has given a cautious welcome to reports that the future of Mountpottinger Barracks is under review.

The barracks, which is currently only open on a part time basis, is listed along with a number of other PSNI installations as subject to review pending permanent closure. This follows in the wake of the weekend closure of Andersonstown Barracks.

Councillor O’Donnell said, “The maintenance of Mountpottinger Barracks in the midst of the Short Strand has been a constant reminder to the local community of the official state policy of keeping the croppies in their place.
“If nationalist areas are to receive any long terms benefits from the peace process then military installations such as Mountpottinger need to be removed immediately.

“Over the past number of years I have campaigned along with the community for the replacement of Mountpottinger Barracks with a social housing scheme which would help to alleviate the serious housing shortage in the Short Strand.

“To this end I had a meeting with Jane Kennedy when she was NIO Security Minister and wrote to John Reid, requesting a meeting, during his tenure as British Secretary of State.”

Originally an RIC station, the barracks has been located in the area since before partition. It has had a long and controversial relationship with the people of the Short Strand. In December 1983 an RUC man based in Mountpottinger shot dead 18 year old Tony Dawson.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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