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Nationalists Will be Amused At Lairds Human Rights Title

1 June, 2005

South Belfast Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey has said that nationalists and republicans would be amused at John Laird's description of himself as a 'human rights activist'.

Mr Maskey said:

" John Laird was a central element of the old Stormont regime which governed the six counties with a mixture of fear, intimidation and repression of the catholic community. He played a leadership role along with all of the major unionist paramilitary gangs in the management of the Ulster Workers Strike which was designed to bring the six counties to a standstill and resulted in mass terror being waged against any community or individual who dissented from their view.

" In recent years John Laird has reappeared as a unionist peer in the House of Lords. In fact in recent weeks he has used the archaic parliamentary privilege enjoyed by the unelected and unelectable in that House to make unsubstantiated allegations against a number of individuals in the business and political world. Predictably Laird has refused to repeat these allegations in public in order to allow the people involved to defend themselves.

" Given this past many nationalists and republicans will be somewhat amused that John Laird has now given himself the title of a human rights." ENDS

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