Republican News · Thursday 31 August 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Residents reclaim Dunville Park

Children, pensioners, community workers and other residents of the lower Falls Road rolled up their sleeves on Monday, 28 August, for a major clean-up operation of Dunville Park in West Belfast. Armed with bin bags and brushes, hundreds demonstrated their determination to reclaim a park that has become a focal point for drug addicts and joyriders.

But it was not all work. To reinforce the message that the car thieves, joy-riders, drug-dealers and late-night drinkers are no longer welcome in the park, the clean-up was followed by fun activities. Once the bins were full, children got their faces painted, invaded a bouncy castle and enjoyed clown and disco dancer shows.

``The idea of this day of action was to come together and act to create a better environment and future, especially for our young people, said Fra McCann, Sinn Féin councillor for the Lower Falls. ``People have gathered as a community and have sent a clear message. Those who currently use the park for anti-social activities are no longer wanted in the area''.

The day of action at Dunville Park is part of a wider effort to challenge car theft and so-called joyriding in the Falls/Clonard area.

swers to the problem lie with issues such as the reform of the RUC and traffic calming measures. Sinn Féin believes the solution lies also in community restorative justice projects, partnership-based projects that bring together political, community, statutory, business and other sectors as well as adequate leisure facilities for youth.

The lower Falls initiative follows similar campaigns in Twinbrook and Poleglass. Following the success of the Dunville clean-up, the organisers have vowed to repeat the operation in other areas of West Belfast. Residents and community workers in the Grosvenor Road area are planning a similar operation in the coming weeks.

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