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Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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24/02/05
Amazed at the Maze

It is with a sense of profound distaste that victims of IRA atrocities such as Kingsmills and Tullyvallen have heard that the government is planning to incorporate what can only be described as a Lourdes-style shrine to Irish Republican terrorism within the new Northern Ireland Sports stadium complex. For a while now the possibility of using and redeveloping the former Maze prison site for the purposes of sport has been banded about the media and now looks to become a reality. We demand that this stops and that any redevelopment of the site is comprehensive.

The Maze prison or Long Kesh as IRA robbers and criminals still like to call it has an iconic status in their terrorist struggle. As a place for the incarceration of so many of them, it also set the scene for ten of them to commit suicide by starving themselves to death (before Atkins came along). Because of events such as the smearing of their own defecation on everything - apparently to make a political point - this site is often utilised by Republicans for emotive and propaganda value, to support their cause of murdering anybody that stands in their way, and financing that through terror, smuggling and heists at the Northern and Makro.

We consider such a project to be a gross insult to terrorist victims, and discriminatory due to the retraumatising effect the presence of such a terror-sympathetic venue would have. It would therefore exclude victims from being able to make use of this location and support national sporting events. We demand it is demolished totally and a stadium built that is open to all and does not include a grossly offensive political message. We are still committed to bulldozing this temple of terrorism.

What is not needed in a post-conflict Northern Ireland is a Republican pilgrimage site which no doubt will be a propaganda tool for Sinn Fein / IRA. By inscribing a shameful part of history which no-one should be proud of into the landscape rather than allowing people to move on is a backward, regressive step. It may even be used as a component of an IRA induction course, which, presumably, will also entail a stint in the PSNI. That way the IRA volunteers receive a good, all-round education.

 



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