Northern Ireland news

Belfast council approves Robinson Centre name change to Lisnasharragh Leisure Centre

Former DUP leader Peter Robinson, and the old Robinson Centre which is being redeveloped by Belfast City Council
Brendan Hughes

BELFAST City Council has formally approved changing the Robinson Centre's name to Lisnasharragh Leisure Centre.

The centre on Montgomery Road was demolished and the site is being redeveloped into a new multi-million-pound leisure facility.

It was originally named after DUP politician Peter Robinson in the 1980s by Castlereagh Borough Council when he was a councillor and MP aged in his mid-thirties.

The re-naming follows an online petition and calls from SDLP, Sinn Féin and Alliance representatives for the leisure centre's name to be changed.

It had also been argued that the original name contravened council policy as the named person was not deceased.

Mr Robinson, a former DUP leader and First Minister, had hit out at the campaign, claimed it reflected efforts "to eliminate every vestige of unionism in Northern Ireland".

However, the re-naming was ratified at a meeting of full council at city hall on Monday night.

Alliance councillor Michael Long described the new name is "much more appropriate" and said there has been significant support in the community for the name change.

However, DUP councillor Lee Reynolds, who wanted to retain the Robinson name, claimed the renaming was "not motivated by any concern for community relations" but was instead "basically a go at an individual that some people don't like".

An alternative proposal by the PUP to rename the centre after the party's former leader David Ervine was also rejected.

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