Dodds Challenged Over Attitude To DUP Members Released Under GFA
North Antrim Sinn Féin Assembly member Philip McGuigan has accused the DUP
MP Nigel Dodds of operating 'breathtaking double standards' in his approach
to the prisoner release programme under the Good Friday Agreement.
Mr McGuigan said:
" Nigel Dodds has stated this week that Sean Kelly should not have been
freed from prison in July 2000. He claims to oppose the early release scheme
set up under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement and has demanded that
those freed be returned to prison. Given this position it is reasonable to
ask Mr Dodds whether or not this approach applies to members of his own
" In December 1992 Malachy Carey a Sinn Féin election agent in North Antrim
was shot dead by unionist paramilitaries. One of those convicted in
connection with the murder was Gary Blair. Gary Blair originally served his
sentence on the UVF wings in Long Kesh before leaving them to join up with
the anti-peace process LVF led by Catholic killer Billy Wright.
" Gary Blair as a qualifying prisoner was released early under the terms of
the Good Friday Agreement in July 2000. Since then he has returned to live
in the Ballymoney area and he assumed a senior position within the DUP in
North Antrim constituency acting as the local PRO.
" It seems reasonable to ask how Mr Dodds or indeed the local MP Ian Paisley
squares the circle of their stated opposition to the early release scheme
and their demands for those freed under it, like Sean Kelly, to be returned
to prison, and the presence in their own ranks in North Antrim of Gary