Repression in Rathenraw

By Anthony McIntyre (for the Blanket)

To many of us who live in Belfast, the Rathenraw Estate in Antrim town for long conjured up the image of a drugs bazaar where various substances were bought and sold on the open market. It had the feel of a mini-Amsterdam. In recent years a vigorous community response has changed Rathenraw completely. The transformation there has been more than a mere face-lift. Talking to the residents who live there, a strong vibrancy and confidence is exuded. Once the estate to escape from it has become a sought after place of residency for many families eager to ensure their young grow up free from the menace of serious drug abuse. Of the numerous residents I have spoken to over the past month none dissented from the view that Sinn Féin played a major role in the clean-up campaign. A large measure of the party’s electoral success in Antrim town and the surrounding area can be explained by the hard work put in on the ground and in particular the zero tolerance displayed towards drug dealers.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News