Moygashel polling station closure

Sinn F�in's MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone  Michelle Gildernew pictured outside Howard Primary School on Friday morning.INTT0515-337

Sinn F�in's MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew pictured outside Howard Primary School on Friday morning.INTT0515-337

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Voters in the Moygashel and Benburb wards will have to use alternative locations to cast their votes after the Electoral Office took the decision to stop the use of Howard PS in the village as a polling station.

Dungannon Leisure Centre and Roan St Patrick’s PS in Eglish will now be used to accommodate voters after the Chief Electoral Officer said the move would help to ensure all voters can exercise their right to vote in a “peaceful and safe environment”.

DUP's Lord Morrow with Cllrs Kim Ashton and Clement Cuthbertson outside Howard Primary School on Friday morning.INTT0515-336

DUP's Lord Morrow with Cllrs Kim Ashton and Clement Cuthbertson outside Howard Primary School on Friday morning.INTT0515-336

Loyalist protesters demonstrated outside Howard PS during last year’s European and local council elections, and observers from the Electoral Commission raised concerns about what they described as a hostile environment.

And while the decision to drop the Moygashel school as a polling station has been welcomed by the area’s MP, Michelle Gildernew, as a “victory for common sense”, the DUP’s Maurice Morrow MLA said it was “a sweeping decision placating the whim of a few disgruntled persons”.

For full political reaction to the announcement, see this week’s TIMES.