Leslie Long has been employed at the Department of Agricultural and Rural Development since 1980 and is now Executive Officer. He explains that his role involves service to all the community, without prejudice. In 1937, after the establishment of the Border, Leslie’s grandfather, George Long, and his family moved from Kinlough in North Leitrim to Garrison in Co. Fermanagh. In 1972, his son William Long who had inherited the farm at Cashelnadrea, and his family were driven by terrorists from their home in Garrison to Enniskillen. Leslie Long recalls these traumatic times of murder and threats, when his father had to sell his livestock and uproot his family from their home. The land at Garrison is still in the Long family and is farmed by Leslie’s brother. Leslie has been a member of the UUP for many years and he expresses his bitter disappointment at the conditions agreed by the party in 1998, which included the release of prisoners and changes in policing. He explains though that he was content with the Constitutional arrangements agreed by the party. He maintains that the support base of the UUP has been badly damaged as a result. He is generally happy with The Assembly as he says direct rule had proved a disaster for Unionists.
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