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Duncairn Cultural Centre damaged in robbery hours after hosting Other Voices concert

Rev Bill Shaw surveys the damage caused to the 174 Trust Duncairn Centre on the Antrim Road. Picture by Mal McCann.

JUST hours after hosting a landmark concert, a cross-community social hub was badly vandalised during an overnight burglary.

The Duncairn Cultural Centre on the Antrim Road in north Belfast had hosted `Other Voices', a three-day music event which culminated in a concert on Saturday night.

It is the first time that the popular RTÉ event has been held outside Dingle in Co Kerry and was hailed a great success by producers and audiences.

However, when Rev Bill Shaw arrived back at his desk on Monday morning he discovered a scene of devastation following a break-in, with "anything of value" stolen.

"Any Monday morning, coming in to find what we found would have been awful, but we were on such a high after the Other Voices," he said.

"We had a few break-ins in the past, but nothing really since the refurbishment three and a half years ago and thought it was behind us.

"It just seems that there are people out to cause havoc.

"We have had such support from everyone, DUP and Sinn Féin councillors have been phoning and ringing and people offering help."

Sinn Féin councillor JJ Magee said people in the area are "shocked and disgusted by a break-in and significant act of vandalism"

"The Duncairn Cultural Centre is a prized asset for all the people of north Belfast and held the successful RTE Other Voices event over the weekend," he said.

"The PSNI is in attendance and the venue is being treated as a crime scene at present so the full extent of the damage isn't known.

"Those responsible for this act must be held to account for their actions and I would appeal to anyone with any information to bring it to the police."

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