Springfield residents demand protection
At a meeting with NIO security minister Adam Ingram on Monday 18 December, residents of the Springfield Road demanded better protection for their homes.
Since July, loyalists have carried out over 40 attacks on nationalists living along the `peace wall', attacks Ingram said he knew nothing about. According to residents' spokesperson John McGivern, ``Adam Ingram claimed he knew nothing of the attacks because he was relying on the RUC for information. We had written to Ingram outlining our fears over the ongoing attacks and provided him with details. These included paint bomb attacks on homes along the Springfield Road and stoning incidents on cars, homes and individuals walking past the `peace wall'.''
During the meeting, the residents presented Ingram with a 200-signature petition backing their demand for the wall to be strengthened.
``The fact that Adam Ingram knew nothing of these attacks as he was relying on RUC statistics shows the extent to which the RUC plays down attacks on Nationalists living in interface areas,'' said McGivern.
``We pointed out to Ingram that all he has to do is look at the houses on the nationalist side of the wall and he'll see who is under threat. The windows all have protective grilles, there are no letter boxes on the doors and in a number of houses at Workman Avenue there are no windows on the front of the houses. Ingram admitted that he wasn't familiar with the area and said he would take a drive through it some time. He should stop and talk to local people when he is on his drive and find out for himself how bad things are.''
Sinn Féin councillor for the area Tom Hartley and Falls Road councillor Fra McCann, who accompanied the delegation said: ``There really has been no let up in attacks on residents of the area since the summer and by extending the wall the NIO would at least be offering people some protection.''