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Butler welcomes arrest of leading loyalists

22 February, 2008

Sinn Féin Lagan Valley MLA, Paul Butler has welcomed the recent arrest by the PSNI of two leading Loyalists who are alleged to be the ringleaders of the campaign of intimidation against Catholics in Stoneyford.

Paul Butler said:

"I welcome the recent arrest by the PSNI of two leading loyalists who are believed to be the orchestrators of a relentless intimidation campaign against Catholics in Stoneyford Village.

"I have received information the two have been released pending further investigation.

"Within a very short time of his release one of these individuals accosted and threatened me. I intend meeting with the PSNI in the coming days for the purpose of bringing charges of threatening behaviour and intimidation against this individual.

"The failure over a long period of time by the PSNI to take resolute action against these individuals has created a perception in the Catholic community that certain people connected to extreme unionism are not amenable to the same vigorous application of the law as those in the nationalist community.

"This is unacceptable and the PSNI must be seen to be seriously pursuing those responsible for all crimes against the community and this must include ruthlessly rooting out those involved in hate crime such as this sectarian campaign being waged against the Catholic population of Stoneyford. I therefore welcome the recent arrests by the PSNI of these individuals." ENDS

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