Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Tolerance of Unionist violence challenged

25 July, 2005


South Belfast Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey has said that the reaction of both the PSNI and the unionist political establishment to ongoing unionist paramilitary feuding and the sight of hundreds of UVF members mingling with the PSNI and British Army after forcing members of a rival gang from their homes in Garnerville demonstrates again the ambiguity which is continually displayed towards loyalist violence.

Mr Maskey said:

"For decades the unionist political establishment have turned a blind eye to the activities of the various unionist paramilitary gangs. This attitude has been repeated again throughout this latest feud as night after night attacks have taken place across North and East Belfast with minimal comment from either main unionist party.

"The historic tolerance and in some cases encouragement of unionist paramilitary gangs is intolerable. The sight of hundreds of UVF members pictured mingling with the PSNI and British Army after forcing members of a rival gang from their homes in East Belfast is just the latest episode in this ongoing saga. The behaviour of the PSNI in Garnerville today contrasts sharply with their attitude towards nationalist residents in Ardoyne on July 12th.

"Nationalists and republicans have seen enough of unionist politicians double standards and double speak when it comes to their attitude towards the unionist paramilitaries. Their position is based upon blatant hypocrisy and needs to be challenged once and for all if we are to move forward into a future which is based upon equality and respect." ENDS

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