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DUP engagement with loyalist gangs – nothing new

5 February, 2009

Commenting on revelations today in Westminster by the DUP MP Jeffery Donaldson that his party are in discussions with the UDA and UVF, Sinn Féin Assembly member for Mid-Ulster Francie Molloy said that far from this being a new thing, recent evidence at the Billy Wright Inquiry points to ongoing contacts between the DUP and loyalist gangs including at the height of their sectarian murder campaign.

Mr Molloy said:

"Today Jeffery Donaldson has indicated to a Westminster Committee that his party have been in discussions with both the UDA and UVF over the issue of arms. Mr Donaldson seems to suggest that this is a recent initiative.

"However it would serve everyone better it the DUP were at least honest about their engagement with loyalist gangs. Last week at the Billy Wright Inquiry it emerged that DUP MP Willie McCrea was meeting with sectarian killer Wright at the height of the loyalist murder campaign in the early 1990s. Mr McCrea has yet to make any public statement detailing what exactly he was discussing with the UVF at a time when they were murdering his constituents.

"The hypocrisy of the DUP on this issue is glaring. On one hand for years they refused to recognise the democratic mandate of Sinn Féin before being forced to U-turn on that issue while it has now emerged at the same time at least one of their MPs was directly engaged with the leader of the Mid-Ulster UVF." ENDS

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