GARC Concerns at St Gemma's Site

GARC have released a statement regarding the St Gemma's site issued on 5 December 2014

Since Sinn Fein Education Minister John O'Dowd decided to close St Gemma's against the wishes of parents, pupils, staff and the wider community there has been intense interest in how the school site could be best utilised.

This is a prime site, unique in terms of location and size, with a space that could and should be put to best use for the utmost benefit of the surrounding communities of Ardoyne and the Bone. The majority of local opinion would seem to suggest a much needed sporting, health and leisure facility for North Belfast nationalist communities would be most appropriate.

There is at present a proposal backed by Sinn Fein that would see the site effectively come under the ownership of director-led private limited companies, that were formerly community accountable groups, they deem acceptable. This will see the school used to house these groups, some of whom exist in name only for funding purposes. This proposal is at an advanced stage without transparency or any proper consultation with residents.

An online only consultation on behalf of a limited company MONTHS AFTER proposals have been submitted to the Diocese of Down and Connor cannot be treated as inclusive, and is a malicious attempt to legitimise their agenda.

Since it's closure the school has also been used as a Covert Surveillance Station by MI5 and the PSNI. A fortnight ago residents of Rosehead and the Bone observed numerous balaclava wearing British soldiers removing a number of cameras looking into Ardoyne and the Bone from both within the school and from the roof of various buildings on site. While doing so, the British Army were protected by up to twenty armoured PSNI jeeps and scores of PSNI officers for a number of hours.

The question needs to be asked of local clergy and political parties were they aware of these covert operations and did they approve. GARC are opposed to the proposed takeover of the St Gemma's site and demand that any plans are stopped until there is a full, independent, public consultation with local residents and we state clearly that any development of the site should be subject to the wishes of surrounding communities.

1 comment:

  1. Another fucking rip off in the making ..brought to you by quisling $inn £einds plc