Footage has emerged of the Coalisland barracks that was dubbed an ‘eyesore’ by locals, finally being torn down.
The former RUC and British Army base has stood empty since it was vacated by police in 2006.
Now the building has been demolished to make way for a new housing scheme.
Local man, Dan Campbell, who took the video, said he was happy to see it finally being razed to make way for homes.
“It’s been an eye sore for so many years and now it’s making way for much needed housing,” he explained.
Targeted many times throughout the Troubles, the barracks, at the centre of the town, was once surrounded by concrete with arterial routes blocked to the public.
The compound also housed a watch tower laden with spot lights and cameras.
It had been hoped the station would be demolished shortly after its closure, but problems over the relocation of a mast used by emergency services delayed the sale, which eventually took place in 2010.
Further obstacles delayed the development of the site, which has been earmarked for affordable social housing.
Sinn Fein Councillor Dominic Molloy welcomed news of the demolition, saying it removed ‘an eyesore’ from the centre of Coalisland.
“This will be welcome news to local people as it tidies up the derelict site and will provide affordable social housing in an area where there are great housing pressures,” he added.
“We are constantly pushing for more social housing in Coalisland and Dungannon as given the rapid population growth and projected increases this will continue to be a major problem.
“Hopefully, the town centre will be allowed to return to what it once was, and new life breathed into it.”
The derelict site has caused traffic congestion and been blamed for adversely affecting the commercial life of the town. Over the years, the station was extended onto the pavement, obstructing plans for a right-hand turning lane.
It also blocked sight lines due to its jutting design and generally led to traffic problems in that area.
Habinteg Housing Association, who are behind the development, anticipate being on site for around 15 months.
A spokesperson for the association said: “The development will comprise 18 attractively designed, two bedroom apartments.
“We are delighted to be developing the site to provide much needed housing for Coalisland and, at the same time, positively address an area of the town which has long drawn negative publicity.”