Allister fears Maze will become a new Poleglass…

I remember the building of Poleglass, mostly because I was working at NIE at the time the first residents were moving in and the plans for the new developments passed through the offices I was working in.

The plans for it were subject to a huge political push back, particularly from Unionist politicians in Lisburn who feared (rightly as it happened) that its proximity to West Belfast would bring in a huge influx of nationalists into the then Borough.

So it’s interesting that Jim Allister invokes the name of Poleglass as his rallying call against the possibility of new builds on the Maze site:

I fear the ‘cold house for unionist house buyers’ persona which will brand the site will even affect the anticipated housing development and in consequence we will see what in time will be the new Poleglass of Lisburn emerge at the Maze.

It’s caused some irritation to his former colleagues in the DUP, not least because in the current climate, the development of any housing, public or private on the site is likely to be a very long way off. But more germane to the Allister’s argument, where are all these nationalists going to come from?

And will the place’s past really exercise that much influence over the choice of future generations? And is there any the scope of OFMdFM’s CSI strategy (which is currently awaiting further work-shopping – this time, without the direct aid of the two governments) to prevent further ghettoisation of new housing?

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  • Neil

    It’s actually pretty funny. On one hand there’ll be more fenians in Lisburn, nightmare as we fenians are dirty sub human scum as Jim and his crusty mates are well aware.

    Then by extension, we know exactly what kind of place it would be like if it were filled up with us fenian sub human scum: Poleglass. Cause, well, it’s a shithole (I would imagine Jim thinks), which is what you get if you let a bunch of fenians in. Though Jim probably doesn’t know that much about Poleglass. Certainly less than me.

    It wouldn’t turn out like, I dunno, Gransha or something, where surprisingly we sub human scum have managed to move in and enjoy a reasonably affluent, majority Catholic area, no no no. It’ll be like the biggest fenian shit hole that makes Jim’s arsehole twitch at the thought of entering the place and that’s Poleglass.

    From a SF supporting Republican I’d like to, once again, offer my heart felt thanks to Jim for his sterling work.

  • Mrazik

    I wouldn’t pay too much attention to Jimbo, at least the obvious underlying currents of his Poleglass argument.

    However, I don’t think developing houses on that site is appropriate given the vast swathes of derelict land in Belfast city centre and the inner cities, coupled with the poor public transport links. Surely, concentrating efforts on solving existing problems like that would be a more sensible long-term approach rather than encouraging ever more soulless suburbanisation.

  • Cynic

    Jim who?

  • I suppose it could have been worse. He could have said it would be like having another Glengormley…

  • Yet there is an issue here, which Mick Fealty touched on: where are all these nationalists going to come from?. And not just nationalists.

    I’ll look the detailed stats up if pressed, but off-the-pointed-top of my head I reckon you’d find that the current occupancy rate for NI maxes out at 2½ persons per dwelling, and probably is falling. A couple of years back, before the roof fell in, the annual increase to the housing stock was at the top end of single percentage figures. There were (and probably still are) way over 30,000 unfit dwellings (of which, admittedly, going on half are still occupied).

    If that recollection is anything near correct, one doesn’t need to be grassy Green to wonder why we need more acres of little boxes. Particularly if that extends the linear metropolis further and further along the M1.

  • Mick Fealty

    Gransha? The posh place in Bangor, or the townland beyond Dromara? Drop me a line privately if you prefer…

  • Dissident Unionist

    Jim Allister who’s party represents almost 20,000 of the electorate, or perhaps you’d prefer them to go unrepresented Cynic?

  • sammymehaffey

    Of course we will need more houses and 5 and 6 bedroom ones at that. Did you not know that the muslim population is breeding at the rate of 7.8 per couple while we poor Christians in western Europe are breeding at a rate of 1.8 per couple which is unsustainable in the long term By 2050 every country in western europe will have a muslim majority. So yes we will need lots more large housing.

  • Neil

    No Mick the one up the Glen Road in the West.

  • Drumlin Rock

    almost half an MP there, or 3 MLAs. if their vote wasnt scattered over the whole country, thats if most of them have not give up on the TUV as a wasted vote.

  • Neil

    Their sole purpose appears to be the weakening of Unionism.

  • Wow! Cutting-edge irony, there! Trouble is, sammymehaffey @ 4:20 pm, someone might take you on face value. And we don’t want Sluggerdom crawling with shaven-headed, tattooed, beer-bellied types with their pit-bulls, do we?

    You are quite correct in one way of course: secularism is the best birth control. It’s religion of any persuasion, and conservatism, that makes’ em breed.

  • ThatsWhyTheyCallMeTerryTibbs

    Much as the Malthusians might have you believe it creating houses suitable for Catholics does not create Catholics out of thin air. Any Catholic living there means a Catholic not living somewhere else. The most likely somewhere else in this case would probably be somewhere in Belfast proper. So such a thing may make Lisburn more nationalist but would also delay the day when nationalists become a majority on Belfast City Council.

  • Re-engaged

    Formally 60000 of the electorate – so 2/3rds gone – peel the same amount off again and he will be the only MLA the TUV have in Stormont – even Bob McCartney managed better than that – so wee Jim really should just get back to the bar (legal that is) and leave politics

  • lamhdearg

    If i where king i would build five bedroom houses and nothing else on the maze site, sell them at cost to mixed marriage couples and hope they out breed the rest of us.

  • edgeoftheunion

    Not necessarily secularism Malcolm. Filthy lucre does the job quite well.

  • Alias

    Jim is right, of course. Any housing built on the site of the Maze will inevitabley become a sectarian area, attracting one section of the community and repelling the other. Sectarianism, ironically, is the bedrock of the oft-touted ‘shared’ future. As it was, so shall it ever be…

  • I think edgeoftheunion @ 6:34 PM may be nodding towards the famous Pink Pound.

  • alley cat

    This is nonsense

  • RepublicanStones

    Sammy there is a site run by one of Jim’s mates which you might like to visit.

  • Cynic

    “who’s party represents almost 20,000 of the electorate”

    wow…that’s like almost a fifth of the Orange Order never mind the rest of us.

  • Cynic

    >>>and above all they will have no taste …

  • Chris Donnelly


    ‘Fear’ is the wrong word to use. Unionist politicians did not fear catholics being permitted to reside within ‘their’ borough, they ‘opposed’ it, clearly not wanting Lisburn’s catholic population to return in any numbers after some 50 years had passed since they were forced to flee in massive numbers in the early 20s (see Pearse Lawlor’s excellent book ‘The Burnings.’)

    An important distinction, given that ‘fear’ calls out for understanding, diminishing the purely sectarian sentiments driving the unionist agenda in Lisburn.

    These would be the same unionist politicians who threatened to withhold the emptying of bins in the area due to the influx of catholics as the Colin area began to expand.

    This is a pitch to the gut sectarian instinct within unionism, and given the recent record of Lisburn’s TUV councillor (Cecil Calvert) in consorting with loyalist Mark Harbinson, this could be interpreted as a call to loyalists in the area to ensure Jim’s ‘fears’ are not realised…and we know what that means.

    I’d imagine Jim is aware of the quiet but steady migration of catholics from west Belfast to Lisburn, something which has gathered pace in the past decade, extending to virtually all middle-class areas of Lisburn.

    The fact that Allister has been reduced to this is perhaps a source of comfort for the political mainstream.

  • redhugh78

    or the one in Derry’s waterside…ahem.

  • Dec

    Actually, closer to two-thirds of the OO.

  • I always thought that the prison site would be a great place to locate a Gaeltacht housing development. It’s on the site of the ‘Jailtacht’. Apart from that the housing would be cheap.

    And if it were to cause Jim Allister some angst, well that’s an added bonus.

  • Alias

    Actually, it’ll be another one of those fine jokes with the Shinners proffering the narrative that the Hunger Strikers died to secure equal civil rights between Irish and British nations within a legitimised British state by making their national rights unequal, forfeiting such rights for their nation while embedding them in constitutional granite for the British nation. Their narrators punch-line can be, “And behold the shared society that emerged from this very site… wherein a housing estate now stands that is segregated along pre-Hunger Strike sectarian lines, for this ghetto is 95% catholic (with protestant landlords owning the other 5% of the housing which they let as social housing).” Jim, I suspect, will have called it correctly… which is why folks are ignoring his salient point.

  • Bobby Freemind

    I wonder how many people here would call them self Christian; Protestant or Roman Catholic; or even just identify with either one of the communities. I ask because I don’t see much in the way of the bibles moral teachings in other contributor’s posts. Does it not teach in the bible about the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” or have you heard the one “judge not, that you be not judged” or “Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye but fail to notice the beam in your own eye?”

    Those teachings make a lot of sense from a psychological perspective since it is well known in psychology that we see the world as we are, and not as it is; look up “psychological projection”. I think Jesus was close to the truth when he said “the kingdom of God is within you”. But still most people these days still look outside themselves, and miss the point completely.

    Good luck/Ádh mór ort