2 December 2004 Edition
One of the ugliest reminders of British occupation in Belfast, over decades, has been the barracks at Andersonstown, a towering grey monstrosity, one look at which put paid to any colonial pretence that Belfast was as British as Finchley.
News that it is to be closed for good will be belatedly welcomed by local people, sick of the Crown forces and their paraphernalia of repression.
There is no reason for this fortress in the middle of Andersonstown. The property and land should now be given back to the people of west Belfast.
Sinn Féin, the only party that has consistently campaigned for the closure of the barracks, will now join forces with the local community to ensure this symbol of militarisation and oppression is made part of the regeneration of west Belfast.
Republicans will not be satisfied, however, until full demilitarisation is a reality and the last British soldiers pack their bags to go home.