‘Jobs for future, not violence from the past’ – McKevitt
SDLP South Down MLA Karen McKevitt said there is a choice to be made right now between the jobs we need for our future and the violence of the past which continues to haunt us.
Speaking to Newry Times, McKevitt said: “There was a turning point this week when we got evidence that the street violence in Belfast which is already hitting the retail business is now killing jobs in tourism.
“We can’t afford to lose one booking, one event or one conference. International marketing campaigns which cost us millions are being set at nought by the daily coverage around the world.
“Many of us have put a lot of hard work into promoting the World Police and Fire Games this year. There are obvious problems with inviting the policemen of the world to a city where their local colleagues are being petrol-bombed nightly.
“The cruel irony is that for many of the young men from deeply deprived areas of educational under-achievement, tourism may well be their best or only hope of decent jobs in the future,” McKevitt continued.
“How will the Titanic Quarter thrive in the glare of the petrol bombs? How many European tourists will now make it their destination of choice?
“We are faced with a choice between building up for the jobs of the future or locking ourselves into the sterile violence of the past for years to come.
She added, “The choice needs to made firmly and it needs to be made right now, before any more conferences are cancelled or events damaged. A handful of people must not destroy the future of a whole generation.”
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