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Sinn Fein call on Hugh Orde to protect Catholics in Stoneyford

13 February, 2008

Sinn Féin Lagan Valley MLA Paul Butler has called on the head of the PSNI Hugh Orde to personally intervene in the situation in Stoneyford to ensure no more Catholics are intimidated out of the village.

The Catholic community of Stoneyford have no confidence in the PSNI they feel let down. Hugh Orde needs to take charge of the situation and bring this sectarian campaign to an end.

I am very critical of the PSNI in Lisburn they will not even acknowledge that this is a sectarian campaign being waged against the Catholic community of Stoneyford.

I am calling on Hugh Orde to publicly state that what is happening in Stoneyford is a sectarian campaign against the Catholic community and that he will take steps to bring it to an end.

The local PSNI in Lisburn have failed to protect Catholics in the village said Paul Butler. I have no confidence in them to deal with this campaign of sectarian intimidation.

"The death threat from loyalists against a Catholic family in Stoneyford is the latest in a series of attacks on this family. This campaign against Catholics has been ongoing for the last 15 years without anyone being arrested or charged.

"The PSNI in Lisburn have failed to protect this family and other Catholics in the village from the loyalist gang who are based in the village.

"This gang is well known to the PSNI yet they are doing nothing to curtail their intimidatory and sectarian behavior. Hugh Orde needs to ensure that they are not being protected by those within the PSNI.

"Last November I met Assistant Chief Constable and the police officers in charge of the area. I was given an assurance that the PSNI would act to deter this gang.

"I am still waiting on an effective response - no single loyalist involved in this campaign has been arrested.

"They roam the village intimidating people at will. This is totally unacceptable. Hugh Orde must immediately act to protect the Catholics from this loyalist gang." ENDS

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