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DUP should come clean on loyalist links

28 October, 2004

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA, Philip McGuigan, has called upon the DUP to come clean on their links with the Ulster Defence Association. His comments follow the withdrawal yesterday of a Westminster motion by a British Labour MP, which named a DUP member who was involved in intelligence gathering for a UDA Commander in Lisburn.

Mr McGuigan said:

"The UDA and the DUP have always had a good relationship, especially in parts of my own constituency, such as Ballymoney and Ballymena. If this motion had gone through the British Parliament it would have only confirmed what the dogs in the street already know, and that is that the DUP and the UDA subscribe to the same sectarian program of intimidation, bigotry and supremacism.

"Earlier this month DUP MLA, Mervyn Storey, enjoyed the pleasure of sharing a stage with representatives of both the UDA and UVF to celebrate 'Ulster Day' in Ballymena. It reminded me of the image of William McCrea sharing a stage with, and therefore giving credibility to, Billy Wright and the LVF in Portadown. There is clearly common ground here, and I'm sure the backstage conversations weren't about loyalist decommissioning either.

"One of the DUP's most recent recruits in Ballymoney was convicted of the murder of a nationalist political activist and had apparently 'repented' before joining the Democratic Unionists. Well, he may have been 'born again' but nationalists in the Six Counties weren't born yesterday. The DUP, UDA, LVF and Ulster Resistance all come from the same Unionist Militant pool, and always have done.

"Its time that the DUP, in the interests of conflict resolution, told the truth about their loyalist family ties and started tackling the gangster culture that loyalists have spawned in working-class Unionist areas." ENDS

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