Sinn Féin councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile said the question, which PUP leader Billy Hutchinson was not asked in his interview in a Belfast daily newspaper this morning, is ‘why is the UVF still in existence’.
The Short Strand councillor said:
“Billy Hutchinson attempted to justify the clearly random sectarian murder he carried out of two Catholic men going to work in 1974.
“Everyone knows that loyalism, with the assistance of the British state, engaged in a brutal sectarian campaign where any Catholic was the target, regardless of the victims’ politics.
“While Billy Hutchinson says he provides the UVF with ‘political advice’, because he claims they are not ‘politically sophisticated enough to make their own decisions’, what he does need to explain is why the UVF is still in existence and involved in racketeering and drugs.
“At the same time the UVF has been used for party political reasons when their involvement in sectarian attacks on the likes of the Short Strand are turned on and off as happened during last year’s flags protests.
“If Billy Hutchinson truly wants to be ‘part of the solution’ then he should tell the UVF to go away.”