Reaction to Maze decision

Northern Ireland's political parties have been reacting to the decision by the European Union funding programme to withdrawn its offer of financial support for the peace centre at the former Maze prison.

John Armstrong, Construction Employers Federation

"The loss of funding for this flagship project is another major disappointment for the local construction industry and will have wider economic ramifications.

"Thirty thousand construction jobs have been lost since 2007 and, whilst there are signs that the recession is over, the industry needs government to get projects on the ground and build confidence.

"Every project that is stalled or scrapped is costing jobs and hindering economic recovery."

Tom Elliot, UUP MLA

Ulster Unionist Tom Elliot has said he is content at the decision to withdraw funding

"I think the aspect is that it didn't have widespread community support in Northern Ireland.

"You only have to talk to those victims groups that were opposed to the potential of a shrine.

"I think it's hugely positive for them to know that we're not going to have a terrorist shrine there, but that this money can be spent and I hope that some of those groups can actually avail of this funding."

Alex Attwood, SDLP MLA

"We've had door after door after door opened by the president of the European Commission and by the European Commission and after all those doors being opened, a door get slammed in our face.

"This is a bad day for politics and it's a bad day for the relationship between the Northern Ireland government and the European Union."

Jim Allister, TUV leader

"Ever since Peter Robinson was forced into his u-turn on the Maze Conflict Centre I have consistently made the argument that the EU funding earmarked for the project should be redistributed to deserving projects as soon as possible.

"I am delighted by the news that the Special European Programmes Body (SEUPB) has today announced that the money will be reallocated. I trust, however, it is spent wisely and not on some other unmeritorious schemes."

Trevor Lunn, Alliance MLA

"The blame must be directed to the DUP and Peter Robinson, whose procrastination has led to this situation. It was a cowardly move by Peter Robinson to make this U-turn while he was in America.

"This example of weak leadership has now resulted in a major development opportunity being lost that would have created a large number of jobs and been a big boost to our struggling construction sector. The public deserves more than this type of petty politics.

"Northern Ireland now risks the possibility of losing £18m of investment as it will be difficult to redirect this money to other projects within the given time frame."

More Northern Ireland stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Abdi Nor IftinGolden ticket

    How a refugee entered a lottery and won a new life in the US


  • Herring in a fur coatMerry herring

    How fish 'in a fur coat' is enough to make Russia's New Year happy


  • Curiosity Self Portrait at Windjana Drilling SiteIn pictures

    The most stunning space photos of the year


  • Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock and Dame Judi DenchFilm quiz of 2014

    How much do you remember about the past 12 months?


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • GeoguessrWhere in the world...?

    Think you are a geography expert? Test your knowledge with BBC Travel’s interactive game

Programmes

  • Click presenter Spencer Kelly flies a droneClick Watch

    From wearable technology to drones and robots - highlights from 2014

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.