We look at the stories that were making the headlines this week in the Andersonstown News in 1980
Poleglass: The end is nigh?
FOLLOWING the announcement this week that the second phase of the Poleglass housing project, due to begin next year, is in jeopardy, an ‘on the spot’ investigation into the state and future of the project is to be held next Tuesday.
The Falls Community Council has arranged for a group of representatives from local community organisations to visit Poleglass and to see for themselves what progress is being made.
The visit follows unsuccessful efforts by the Council to get up-to-date, accurate evidence from the Housing Executive and the DoE on what is happening in Poleglass.
A spokesman explained: “Ever since the Tory Government came to power in Britain we have felt there was a danger to the Poleglass development. Almost two months ago we wrote to the Executive asking for details, not only of the house building programme, but also what facilities were now planned and when they would be built. Eventually, we received a reply from the regional information officer saying that our letter had been forwarded to the DoE and that it was ‘impossible to predict when future phases will start’. Since then we have heard nothing. We also tried to have a meeting with the Executive to discuss the effects of the cutbacks on West Belfast. Only one representative was prepared to meet us and he is away on three weeks’ holiday. We were told that they were ‘very careful’ about making any commitments about the future.”
The latest announcement from the Executive would seem to confirm the suspicions people have had about Poleglass. This week they admitted publicly that the second phase of the development was in jeopardy and that tenders would not be sent out until they were sure the money was available. Many fear that the Loyalists demands for scrapping the project are being met under the guise of ‘cut-backs’.
Michael McCartan killing: Murder, says priests
AS Ormeau Road residents present a petition to Humphrey Atkins asking for an independent enquiry into the killing in July of Michael McCartan, the authors of a booklet ‘Michael McCartan, an Innocent Catholic Boy shot by the RUC’ have said that the death was murder.
In the latest step in their continuing campaign to expose the injustices in law enforcement in the Six Counties, and the war being waged by the ‘law’ on Catholics, Frs Denis Faul and Raymond Murray have this week published a 22 page pamphlet on the killing of Michael McCartan, shot dead by an RUC man on July 23 this year.
In an introduction headed ‘Michael McCartan’s Death, A Danger Signal to Catholics’, the authors say that the facts about the killing of 16-year-old Michael must be made known in an effort to stop the “illegal ‘sham legal’ killings of Catholics by British controlled Protestant sectarian forces…”
Following their usual meticulous method in publications of this kind, Frs Faul and Murray have gathered precise statements from all those with any knowledge of the killing (except the killers). These include Michael’s mother and father, Molly and Charles McCartan, the boys who were in Michael’s company the night he died, and local people who lived near the scene.
The pamphlet contains an hour by hour account of events leading up to the tragedy and the authors say that the statements “seem to establish to our satisfaction that the killings of the boy was murder. He was under observation in good light for some time, he got no warning, the RUC had no cause for apprehension in the district, the boy was killed deliberately – it was murder.”
No homes for ‘Travellers’
No homes for ‘Travellers’ HOMES for 20 travelling people have been destroyed on the Springfield Road. The site, which has been in the pipeline for over seven years, was destroyed by a number of fires over the July holiday period. Since then it has been systematically wrecked. In 1974, Belfast City Council applied to the Department of Environment for planning permission to build the site, the money to build comes, not from ratepayers money, but is 100 per cent grant aided on capital expenditure.
The Belfast Itinerant Resettlement Committee has this week issued the following statement.
“Travellers in the Belfast area are forced to live in inhuman conditions without the basic facilities of water and sanitation. They are denigrated as being dirty and untidy people who live in squalor. They are forced to live like this because they are denied the basic rights we all expect – a place to stay with fresh water, toilets and regular rubbish collections. Despite these conditions, they endeavour to send their children to school, to feed and clothe their families, and to look forward to a home from which they will not be evicted.”