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DUP silence on sectarianism challenged

27 May, 2005


Sinn Féin North Antrim MLA Philip McGuigan has questioned the commitment of unionist politicians particularly the DUP to tackling the issue of sectarianism in the Borough of Ballymena.

His comments come in light of the recent spate of attacks at Harryville Chapel and the ongoing sectarian campaign against a catholic family in Ahoghill village.

Mr McGuigan said:

"The response or should I say lack of response publicly or otherwise from the DUP to attacks on the catholic community is nothing short of a disgrace and displays the complete hypocrisy within that party.

"As I've said before the DUP has a sizable mandate in the Ballymena Borough. They are often quick to tell us of this mandate therefore I'm calling on their councillors, MLA's and indeed their leader Ian Paisley, who is the elected MP for this area, for once to use this mandate in a positive way. I'm challenging them to show political courage and leadership to work within their community and with others to help end sectarianism.

"One has to question the DUP's motivation behind the silence. Within the Nationalist and Republican community they often question if the DUP are against sectarianism and bigotry, and if they are let them prove it."

"Attacks against mass goers and their property are wrong, so are threats, attacks, petrol bombings against catholic families. The DUP have a responsibility to show leadership and challenge those carrying out these attacks to stop." ENDS

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