We need long term solutions, says Long, welcoming meeting called to discuss Henry Jones Playing Fields incident

Following his request to the Chief Executive of Belfast City Council, Alliance Group Leader Cllr Michael Long has welcomed a meeting between Lisnasharragh Councillors, the PSNI, and both local and Council representatives to be held on Friday (8 September), to discuss the recent security alert at Henry Jones Playing Fields.

Belfast City Council Michael Long

A suspicious device, which eventually turned out to be a hoax, was found at the pitches used by East Belfast GAA on Tuesday morning (5 September) and resulted in the closure of a local primary school and two nurseries.


Those affected by the incident will also attend and the aim will be to develop measures to prevent future incidents, with Cllr Long calling for an increase in CCTV in the area and heightened security.


The Lisnasharragh Councillor has said: “We’ve reached a critical point now in what’s clearly becoming a targeted campaign of intimidation against East Belfast GAA, and we welcome the opportunity to meet with police, other political representatives, and most importantly the families that have been personally impacted.


“Children and young people deserve to feel safe going to school, and their parents and guardians safe in sending them. This should be the bare minimum we expect, and not lofty ambitions.


“Alliance are calling for the introduction of additional security measures such as more extensive CCTV surveillance of the area around the grounds, to prevent this ever being able to happen again in the future.


“It’s so crucially important that we all work together to find long-term solutions that will result in a positive outcome for the club, local schools, and the families impacted, and Alliance are committed to helping achieve that.


“The individuals who are responsible for these sinister acts stand for nothing other than causing distress and disruption to the lives of those in the local community, and we must be robust and persistent in challenging this behaviour and the views associated with it.”