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Alliance Chief Whip and Carrickfergus Councillor, Sean Neeson, has sought an urgent meeting with Security Minister Adam Ingram over the future of the Royal Irish Regiment base at Woodburn.

Alderman Neeson, who is member of the Stormont Talks Team and Northern Ireland Forum, confirmed that he will be asking Mr. Ingram to clarify the Government’s position in relation to the long term future of the base.

Mr. Neeson said: “I will be hoping to have an urgent meeting with Mr. Ingram in order to discuss the future of the RIR army base in Carrickfergus as the RIR are currently reviewing their future strategy in relation to all RIR bases in Northern Ireland.

“But I have been informed from a reliable source that doubt has been cast over the long-term future of the base in Carrickfergus. I am concerned about this development because the base is widely recognised as one of Northern Ireland’s leading recruitment centres for the regiment.

“It has always played an important economic, community and charitable based role for everyone in Carrickfergus. However, the base is also important to members of the Ulster Defence Regiment Association.

“And from a security point of view, the RIR base has always played a significant role when trouble has flared in parts of North Belfast and I will definitely be urging the Minister to keep the base in Carrickfergus.”