[Sinn Fein]

20th June 2002

Sinn Fein call for all Party City Council delegation to visit Short Strand

Dublin Sinn Fein Councillor Christy Burke has called for an All Party City Council delegation to visit the nationalist area of Short Strand in East Belfast to witness for themselves the reality of what life is like for residents of the area. The call comes following a meeting today between residents of the Short Strand and the Mayor of Dublin Cllr. Anthony Creevey.

Cllr. Burke said: ``this area has been under sustained attack from loyalist paramilitaries for almost two months. The residents no longer have access to essential services including the local doctors surgery, the pharmacy and the post office. It is important that political leaders on this part of the island see for themselves the trauma this community continues to suffer. What we have heard today from the residents is harrowing and I am calling on all parties and Independent groups in Dublin City Council to visit the area and witness for themselves what has been happening.''

The delegation presented the Mayor with a dossier of attacks that have taken place almost daily since 11th May. The stark reality of what is happening in the Short Strand is evidenced by some of the statistics as outlined by local Councillor for the area Joe O'Donnell.

Cllr. Burke continued: ``There have been over 100 hundred bombs thrown at houses in the Short Strand and only last week a local pregnant woman was hospitalised as a result of one of these bomb attacks. There have also been sustained petrol bombing, paint bombing and stoning of houses. I would urge elected representatives from Irelands capital city to come and witness for themselves the conditions people are forced to live under in Irelands second city.''

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