AN award-winning cross-community group that works to build relations in the Dunmurry and Finaghy interface areas on the fringe of West Belfast has called on the Assembly to secure funding for its future amid an increase in tensions.
The Greater Dunmurry Positive Relations Partnership, which won the 2011 Aisling Award for Community Work, made its plea for government help when it hosted a visit from Junior Ministers Jonathan Bell MLA and West Belfast MLA Jennifer recently to discuss escalating problems in the area including the arrest of youths carrying bladed weapons and several assaults outside fast food outlets at Finaghy crossroads and Dunmurry village.
South Belfast loyalist leader Jackie McDonald was also at the meeting to support the funding plea in the run-up to the flashpoint Twelfth period.
Speaking at the meeting, Colin community worker Michael George, co-chair of the Greater Dunmurry Positive Relations Partnership, thanked the Junior Ministers for visiting the project.
“It has been a frustrating time for us as over the last number of months we have been dealing with growing tensions in the village, at a time when funding has ended and we are relying on the goodwill of volunteers to prevent issues escalating,” he said.
“We hope that the Joint Ministers’ visit will help resolve the current funding impasse, to a group recognised for outstanding community endeavour.”
Jennifer McCann praised the work of the partnership and promised to do all she could to a make sure funding was allocated to allow the group to continue its excellent work.
“The group carries out vital work in the interface areas in the South-West of the city so it is imperative that money is found to ensure it can continue,” she said.