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Sinn Féin slams PSNI comments over Westland UDA show of strength

14 July, 2004

Sinn Féin Councillor for North Belfast, Danny Lavery, has slammed the PSNI's comments surrounding a UDA show of strength in the Westland area of North Belfast and described the comments as sickening.

Cllr Lavery said:

"The statement given by the PSNI regarding the UDA show of strength in Westland is both farcical and sickening. Alnong with the 'show of strength' the stage that the gunmen fired from was erected in broad daylight and bedecked with illegal UDA banners and flags which the PSNI did nothing about.

"The statement from the PSNI that these activities are a 'community issue' which needed 'addressed using a multi-agency approach' is completely unacceptable.

"Are the guns that were fired that night a community issue or the fact that the same loyalist guns have killed countless people a community issue? I am confident that the families who have lost loved ones at the hands of the UDA do not share the same view.

"This is a clear example of the double standards and duplicity that highlights starkly the methods that the PSNI use to deal with loyalist paramilitaries and nationalist residents.

"Those nationalist residents who were protesting peacefully on the Crumlin Road on the twelfth were hemmed in by a massive militaristic operation and then beaten into Ardoyne while loyalist gunmen still have a free hand to do what they like, when they wish." ENDS

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