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DUP must take action against Councillor after sectarian outburst

3 August, 2004

South Belfast Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey has demanded that the DUP take action against their South Belfast Councillor Ruth Patterson after comments she made concerning an attack on a Protestant woman's home in the Donegal Pass area yesterday.

Mr Maskey said:

"Ruth Patterson last night demanded that the unionist paramilitaries explain why a Protestant pensioner from Donegal Pass was intimidated from her home. Cllr. Patterson demanded the explanation as the woman 'was not from an ethnic minority community or a Catholic'. The clear inference from her remarks was that such attacks on groups other than Protestants are acceptable. They are not and it is up to people in political leadership to give a lead on these issues.

"What we have witnessed from Cllr. Patterson effectively gives a green light to those within her community intent on continuing with racist and sectarian attacks. In recent weeks she instructed Catholics living in a Sandy Row apartment block to move to the South if they were offended over loyalist flags.

"The approach adopted by Ruth Patterson, a member of local policing structures, has added to the difficulties experienced by ethnic minorities and Catholics attempting to live in parts of south Belfast free from harassment and attack. It is now up to the DUP to act after her latest outburst." ENDS

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