AP front 1 - 2022

19 June 1997 Edition

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Drugs protests continue in North Belfast

By Eoin O'Broin

Community leaders, political representatives and concerned residents came together last week, in North Belfast to protest against the increasing availability of drugs in the local Waterworks Recreation Park. Speaking at the rally, Sinn Fein councillor Bobby Lavery attacked the RUC, ``whose barracks is only metres away, and yet they turn a blind eye''. He also called on all those concerned to work together to make the Waterworks safe for ``all our children''.

Hundreds of parents and children from across nationalist North Belfast came out in the pouring rain to have their voices heard. Anthony Barnes of the Cliftonville/Oldpark Development Association told people of the growing number of incidences of children being offered drugs in the Waterworks, and commended the action of the residents in reclaiming the park.

Sinn Féin councilors Bobby Lavery and Paddy McManus, rounded on the RUC for ``once again failing the people of North Belfast''. ``What we have is a situation where the lives and wellbeing of our children are being placed in jeapordy by the RUC and not only is the nearest barracks within sight of the park, security cameras included, but that same barracks holds the central office for the Belfast drugs squad''.

Sinn Féin is committed to continue fighting the issue, and working with all the relevant agencies and groups, he said.

The latest anti-drugs protests in Belfast came about when parents reacted when pushers, who are peddling drugs at wasteground off the Cliftonville Road, gave an 11 year old boy an Ecstasy tablet.

Community anti-drugs rally

Ardoyne - Bone - Cliftonville - New Lodge - Newington - Cavehill

People from all areas around the Waterworks are being asked to attend a rally at the Cavehill/Antrim Road entrance to the park at 7.30pm on Thursday night to highlight the growing drugs problem in the area.

Groups are being asked to assemble at the gate nearest them from 7pm for a short picket before moving on to the main rally. Please assemble at the following points:

Ardoyne - Cliftonville Road gate
Bone/Cliftonville - Brookvale gate
New Lodge - Antrim Road gate
Newington/Cavehill - Cavehill/Antrim Road gate

An Phoblacht
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Dublin 1