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Butler welcomes Stoneyford Loyalist intimidation conviction

3 June, 2009

Sinn Féin MLA for Lagan Valley, Paul Butler has welcomed today’s court ruling against several loyalists accused of attempting to intimidate Paul Butler from the County Antrim village of Stoneyford.
Proceedings were brought against the loyalists following statements made by Paul Butler and Jim Gibney.
Speaking today Mr Butler said:
“The Courts decision today is the right one and sends a clear message that the intimidation of myself, as an elected representative for the area will no longer go unpunished.
“Over the past years there has been a long and concerted campaign against Catholics in the area which has seen many leave the village through fear for their safety and the threat of continuous sectarian harassment. Part and parcel of this was the attempted intimidation of myself.
“This is the first conviction brought against loyalists in the town for public order offences and will give the message to Catholics living in the area that loyalists are not above the law nor can they get away with such acts.
“They have been bound over to keep the peace for two years and upon breach of this will face a fine or a custodial sentence.
“As people gather to show their opposition to sectarianism in Belfast today following the recent tragic events in Coleraine the timing of this conviction could not be more significant. Anti-catholic bigotry and sectarianism cannot, and will not, be tolerated any longer and that those responsible for such intimidation in Stoneyford and elsewhere will be brought to justice.”

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