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Monday, 4 February, 2002, 20:40 GMT
New interface security measures
Security forces escorted pupils to school past protesters
Fence close to Holy Cross will be extended
New security measures at sectarian interfaces across Northern Ireland have been announced by Stormont Security Minister Jane Kennedy.

The Northern Ireland Office has agreed to implement the schemes costing about 670,000.

They include a 250 metre extension to a fence close to the Catholic Holy Cross Girls' Primary School in north Belfast.

Loyalist protests outside the Ardoyne school have led to violence.

Consulted

The fence was erected in 1969 and the extension is under way.


I do not begin this work lightly and have no wish to build barriers between communities

Jane Kennedy
Security Minister

The NIO made the announcement on Monday following talks with police officers and community representatives.

Ms Kennedy said she had written to interested parties and those who were consulted detailing the new works.

Additional security measures have been announced for Portadown in County Armagh and in Londonderry.

The new works are:

North Belfast:

  • Construction of a 250 metre fence at Newington Avenue/Halliday's Road is complete

  • A 250 metre extension of a fence at Alliance Avenue/Glenbryn Park

  • Security fencing at Wyndham Street

    West Belfast:

  • An extension to the existing fence at Ainsworth Avenue/Springfield Road - Kirk Street/Workman Avenue

  • An extension to the existing fence at Bombay Street

    East Belfast:

  • Closure of the road and erection of a security structure at Madrid Street

    Portadown:

  • A series of security measures in the Corcrain Road area

    Londonderry:

  • Modification of the fence at Harding Street

    Ms Kennedy said while the measures were regrettable they were sometimes very necessary.

    The move would provide a significant increase in the level of security in certain interface areas, she said.


    There are those amongst us whose sectarianism threatens to wreck that opportunity

    Jane Kennedy

    "I do not begin this work lightly and have no wish to build barriers between communities," said the minister.

    "My aim is to see mature dialogue and co-operation. However, as I can attest, physical security is often the only practical solution to the appalling and needless brutality blighting the people of Northern Ireland."

    The minister said there was the potential in Northern Ireland to build a society based on mutual respect, justice and equality.

    "But there are those amongst us whose sectarianism threatens to wreck that opportunity."

    Twelve weeks of protests by loyalist residents at Holy Cross ended in December after local community representatives and politicians held a series of meetings to try to calm the tensions.

    Residents said they were protesting about attacks on their community by republicans.

  • See also:

    10 Jan 02 | Northern Ireland
    Cars attacked at Catholic school
    10 Jan 02 | Northern Ireland
    Footpath row 'led to riots'
    10 Jan 02 | Northern Ireland
    North Belfast's streets of hatred
    09 Jan 02 | Northern Ireland
    Rioting follows NI school dispute
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