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Anger at ‘sinister’ loyalist BNP leaflet drop

3 June, 2008

Sinn Féin councillor Billy Leonard has said there is great anger in Portballintrae at loyalists, allegedly including a known paramilitary leader, who distributed British National Party leaflets against immigration.

The leaflet drop follows a recent incident in which a car belonging to Bulgarians was set alight in the town: local residents responded by staging an anti-racism rally. Leonard described the timing of the loyalists' actions as "sinister".

He added:

"Those who approached me are disgusted at this action. They say they know that one of the people who strutted up and down the streets of Portballintrae is a well known loyalist paramilitary from the nearby Bushmills area.

"The leaflet is an official BNP publication and talks of immigrants as 'health tourist spongers' and how 'white people' in Britain will become a minority.

"The timing of this is sinister given the recent car burning incident and the reaction of the community. We can only assume that this daylight distribution of leaflets was intended as a message to migrant workers who undoubtedly would have received a copy through their letter boxes. Long term residents also think that there was a message for them because they spoke up so strongly against racism.

"The loyalist action means only one thing to me and that is to raise the temperature in the area. This is totally unacceptable as the vast majority of locals see the migrant worker community as people who work hard and in many cases take jobs that local people will not take." ENDS

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