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UDA intimidating Coleraine witnesses – McGuinness

29 May, 2009

Following the visit by the First and deputy First Minister to Coleraine this morning Martin McGuinness MP, MLA (Mid-Ulster) has accused the UDA of intimidating witnesses to the murder of Kevin McDaid.

Mr. McGuinness said:

“During my visit to the McDaid and Fleming families in Coleraine this morning along with my colleague, Peter Robinson I was made aware of threats being made to people who supplied witness statements to the Police. One male witness in particular was visited by the PSNI yesterday and informed that his life was under threat from loyalist paramilitaries.

“From my discussions in Coleraine, I am in no doubt that these threats emanate from the UDA.

“I believe that there are profound difficulties in Coleraine and that right up to the present day, key politicians are abdicating their responsibility to come forward to give leadership in an effort to bring the differing sections of the community together. Condemnations of this murder and other incidents are not enough. What is required is for unionist politicians to participate in discussions with their nationalist colleagues to give leadership and find solutions to the unacceptable sectarianism that exists in Coleraine.

“The McDaid family asked me to express their appreciation of all the messages of sympathy and condolences received from across the religious divide and specifically mentioned a number of Rangers fans who contacted them to express their revulsion at what happened to Kevin. Although welcoming the re-routing of the band parade they however expressed disappointment that the organisers did not at least postpone the parade.

"They were also appreciative to the PSNI team who are investigating the murder. Events prior to the murder where it is alleged that the PSNI were in negotiations with loyalists however is a cause of concern. These allegations are now the subject of an Ombudsman’s Investigation. I too share the concerns of the family." ENDS

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