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Housing Executive pledges to “deal robustly” with Craigavon estate issues

Marcell Seeley

Further consideration is to be given to dealing with anti-social behaviour in a residential area of Craigavon after the murder of Marcell Seeley.

Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey has not ruled out calls for the demolition of flats at Dingwell Park, where the body of the 34-year-old was discovered last month.

The matter came before the Assembly this week when Upper Bann SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly asked the Minister if he would be “sympathetic” to the demand for demolition following the “dreadful murder”.

She said the area had been “a breeding ground for antisocial behaviour for many years”.

The DUP Minister said he was aware of residents’ concerns and added: “I have been assured by the Housing Executive of its continued commitment to dealing robustly with the issues in the estate.”

Mr Storey said he had also recently met with the Education Minister and Upper Bann Sinn Fein MLA John O’Dowd, as well the Deputy Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council Catherine Seeley.

The Minister said he had given an undertaking to “discuss these issues with the Housing Executive to see what more can be done”.

But he told the Assembly: “Unfortunately, the issue in Dingwell flats is not uncommon. We have identified a particular issue, which is of concern to me as the Minister responsible for housing, and it is the placing of people in locations without any of the appropriate and necessary supports. We then see the consequences of what happens.

“I have heard particularly harrowing stories from the Member and from others about what it can be like for the neighbouring area, which is a settled community, and the difficulty that that creates.

“I have had a brief discussion with the chief executive of the Housing Executive about the issue. I plan to have a further meeting with the Housing Executive, particularly in relation to that location.”

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