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DUP have helped create environment for North Antrim attacks

26 July, 2005

Sinn Féin Assembly member for North Antrim Philip McGuigan has accused unionist paramilitaries of carrying out a series of attacks last night in Ballymena, Martinstown and Rasharkin, but accused the DUP of helping to create the environment for those responsible to flourish.

Speaking from outside the bar attacked in Rasharkin Mr McGuigan said:

" Last night two catholic churches were daubed with paint in Ballymena as well as a family home attacked with a blast bomb. Pubs in Martinstown and Rasharkin were also targeted in arson attacks. This wave of anti-catholic sectarian attacks is simply the latest list in a long line of attacks on Catholics and nationalists in North Antrim.

" Unionist politicians and in particular the DUP are in denial about the levels of ongoing anti-catholic intimidation which is coming from within the unionist community. I believe that these attacks are taking place in an atmosphere generated by unwarranted commentary from leading members of the DUP who have sought time and again to demonise and isolate the nationalist community in areas like Ballymena.

" The DUP in North Antrim have to wake up to the reality that the days of second class citizenship are over. Nationalists will never again allow themselves to be treated with anything other than equality and respect. The DUP having helped create the environment in which these anti-catholic paramilitary gangs have flourished now have a massive responsibility in taking decisive action to end this campaign and ensure that last night incidents are the last." ENDS

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