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Attacks on catholics historic response to loyalist feuding

22 August, 2005

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP today said that incresing attacks on catholics and nationlists was the traditional loyalist response to internal divisions and feuding within the ranks of the unionist paramiltaries.

Mr McGuinness said:

" The increasing number of attacks on nationalists in North Antrim and in North and East Belfast are the result of orchestrated sectarian violence on the part of unionist paramilitaries.

" Invariably the response of loyalism to internal instability and internecine violence is to escalate attacks on nationalists and Catholics. This is what is happening at present. The response to this orchestrated and escalating campaign on the part of unionist leaders has been subdued and indicates a level of tolerance which is in sharp contrast to their vocal and obsessive focus on the IRA.

" Even more disgraceful have been the attempts by the PSNI to downplay this violence by suggesting that it is neither orchestrated nor wholly sectarian in nature. Nowhere is the need for fundamental change more obvious than in the PSNI's attempts to disguise the naked sectarianism which fuels these attacks." ENDS

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