Sinn Féin MLA Oliver McMullan has linked the silence of unionist politicians on recent UDA activity in south and east Antrim to reports that it has pledged support for the DUP in this area.
Mr McMullan said,
“I understand the UDA has urged its membership to vote DUP in the forthcoming election. So it is no surprise that unionist parties are failing to tackle unionist paramilitary attacks in the Larne area.
“I have highlighted the ongoing paramilitary problem in East Antrim for nearly a year now, yet on several occasions Unionist politicians accused me of scaremongering.
“The attacks on the families in Larne by the gang of around 150 to 200 armed and organised men has once again shown who really is in control in this sea-side town.
“The lack of condemnation by Unionist politicians is testament to the fact that there are those who depend on the UDA to mobilise its membership to vote in elections. With an election looming they don’t want to rock the boat.
“It is time that unionist politicians made a stand and told the people whether they support paramilitaries controlling their area or that they are prepared to face them down.
“There is no room for sitting on the fence. Decent people in Larne continue to suffer at the hands of criminals and thugs who can travel from their power base in Carrickfergus where they have been carrying out their criminal activity for quite some time now.” CRÍOCH/ENDS