Ardoyne resident takes High Court case
PAPERS are to be lodged in the High Court today in an attempt to force the Housing Executive to take action against loyalist protesters illegally occupying land in North Belfast.
Loyalist squatters have occupied the Twatdell Avenue site since Orangemen were banned from walking past nationalist homes in the area in the summer of last year. Protesters claim they have maintained a 24-hours-a-day vigil (what a load of bullshit), picture above, in a small caravan on the public land. Policing ‘Camp Twatdell’ and almost daily protest parades has cost around £1 million a month. Despite the site having Housing Executive permission for 15 residential properties and a three-storey office building, the Housing Executive has taken no action against the illegal occupiers. There have been no offers for the site, which is on the market for £150,000. Senior political figures have called for the protest to end. The Ardoyne dispute is the focus of a government appointed panel of inquiry as well as inter-party talks at Stormont due to start this week. The High Court action is being taken by an Ardoyne resident who has been granted legal aid. Solicitor Michael Brentnall said his client “instructed that we initiate judicial reveiw proceedings against the North of Ireland Housing Executive in regard to its permitting of the illegal occuption of Housing Executive land at Woodvale Road”. “The basis of the proceedings lie in the fact that the Housing Executive has facilitated the long-term nuisance and illegality emanating from the land, which is directly affecting our client and has subsequently breached our client’s rights.” Dee Fennell of the Geater Ardoyne Resident’t ‘ Collective (GARC) said the group “commened any resident’s actiion that opposeses “Camp Twatdell”. “Unionist politicians need to be up front as to whether they support criminality such as Camp Twatdell and the sectarian intimidation that comes along with it,” he said. The Housing Excutive confirmed that those occupying the land do not have its “authorisation, consent or permission”. “The entering into the land was not and is not lawful. The Housing Executive has not consented to the occupation,” a spokesman said. “Following discussions with the PSNI, the Housing Executive has refrained from taking action to remove protesters from its lands to date in the hope that the situation can be resolved without any civil disorder.”
With many thanks to: Connla Young, The Irish News.