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Response to Newtownards Killing

25 March, 2004


Commenting on the murder of a man in Newtownards last night Sinn Féin Assembly member Willie Clarke has said that 'much of the political and media reaction to this killing contrasts sharply with the almost hysterical reporting of any violent activity which takes place in nationalist areas'.

Mr. Clarke said:

"First and foremost the murder of this man in Newtownards is a tragedy for his family and friends. There are clearly strong suspicions that one of the unionist paramilitary groupings is responsible for this killing.

"Over the past year the British government have linked unionist paramilitaries with 7 murders, 135 shootings and 41 bombings. We have had no special meetings of the Review to discuss this, no reports from the IMC, no commentary from unionist politicians and no action taken to stop this violent campaign.

"I have to say that much of the political and media reaction to last nights killing contrasts sharply with the almost hysterical reporting of any violent activity which takes place in nationalist areas. Then we have a queue of politicians, journalists and the PSNI lining up to blame the IRA without any evidence and call for the exclusion of Sinn Féin from the political process. This was of course evident lately with the political and media reaction to an incident in a Belfast bar involving Bobby Tohill." ENDS

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