Protest staged at Bangor pool preview

Published Wednesday, 13 March 2013
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The preview of a new state of the art leisure complex in Bangor, Co Down, has been marred by a small protest against the presence of the Sinn Féin Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín.

Protest staged at Bangor pool preview
Protestors pictured with a sign against the Sports Minister. (© Pacemaker)

A handful of people decked out in Union flags and carrying a poster claiming that Ms Ní Chuilín wasn't welcome stood outside the multi-million pound Bangor Aurora complex.

The facility, which counts Northern Ireland's first Olympic-sized pool among its many features, has been assigned as a venue for the 2013 World Police and Fire Games in August.

On Wednesday, the sports minister previewed the pool which has been designed to the international standards of the world governing body for aquatic sports, FINA.

This is a place where the athletes of today and tomorrow will train and compete - where champions will be inspired to give their all and be nurtured to achieve their potential.

Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín

"This is a landmark project which has been built with the significant funding and assistance from the Executive through the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure," Ms Ní Chuilín said.

"I have watched with interest as work has continued and I am pleased today to be visiting a facility that is hugely impressive, both inside and out, and will be accessible to the whole community."

She added: "Everyone, from elite competitors to the occasional swimmer, will be able to use and enjoy this facility. This pool belongs to all of us."

The leisure complex marks the largest ever investment in such facilities in Northern Ireland.

North Down Borough Council has invested £38m, including £14.4m in funding from the Northern Ireland Executive through the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

Features include the Olympic-sized pool, a diving pool, flumes and slides, a sidewinder ride, four grass football pitches, a gym, an eight-court sports hall, and a café and crèche.

"There has been a huge team of people working around the clock to get this building to the stage it is at now. They have moved mountains, almost literally, to get us to where we are today," Alderman Anne Wilson, chair of North Down Borough Council's Leisure and Community Services Committee, said.

"The building has had rather a long gestation period, but the wait has clearly been worthwhile."

The leisure centre opens to the public on Saturday 23 March.

© UTV News
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29 Comments
realistic in planet earth wrote (495 days ago):
@willy in bangor, willy I was sure that the likes of billy hutchinson was a convicted terrorist too? Must have been mistaken, NOT. Only difference is billy was no use as a politician either, lmao :)
Rab in Belfast wrote (495 days ago):
I dont like to admit it but Equaliser you have actually made a good point in a certain respect what i would say is however everyone has a past a lot of the unionist leaders where in things as well bud and current leaders like Mr Hutchison who has links to the UVF and a number of unionists representatives had links with the UDA and UVF as well as the LVF we can all say this guy or lady was in something the fact is that thats the past man and we have to move on the fact that she has a past and did bad things i think it says more for the Bangor community to hold their heads up high and be civil. People have to forgive each other and move on and not continue the cycle of hatered thats the main issue
willy in bangor wrote (496 days ago):
shove your comments, clearly some of you have nothing better to do. and for your info everyone there at that protest does work.. fact! its the point that she is a convicted ira terrorist and not a flag protest. muppets
dougie in ards wrote (496 days ago):
equaliser , well said mate , only bit of sense ive seen commented on this
realistic in planet earth wrote (496 days ago):
I actually feel sorry for real decent, hard working Unionists (protestant and catholic) now. This type of protest is gringeworthy. That sign just sums it up....... :)
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