Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Unionists challenged to use influence to bring Banbridge attacks to an end

9 September, 2005

Sinn Féin Banbridge Councillor Dessie Ward has challenged newly elected MP
for Upper Bann David Simpson to use whatever influence he may have to bring
sectarian threats and attacks on the Nationalist community in Banbridge to
an end.

His call follows the appearance of threatening graffiti directed at him that
appeared in Banbridge town centre. Graffitti about Cllr Ward has also been
daubed on the two Catholic churches in the town along with a vitriolic
attack on the pope.

Cllr. Ward commented:

"These incidents follow on from a recent petrol-bomb attack on my home by
Unionists who have been engaged in similar activity in the town for many
years now. Unfortunately Unionist councillors on Banbridge District Council
are in denial about these attacks and are instead attempting to attribute
them to the fact that the Banbridge District Council area now has a sitting
Sinn Fein Councillor.

"Any objective commentator would admit that these attacks on the Nationalist
community have been part and parcel of life in Banbridge during the summer
months for many years now. This has included people being evicted from their
homes by Unionist paramilitaries, pipe-bomb attacks, paint-bomb attacks and
many young nationalists have been beaten up on their way home from the
various night spots in the town.

"It is no longer acceptable for Unionist councillors to try and brush this
sectarian campaign under the carpet. There is an onus and a duty on these
same councillors, and of course the newly elected MP for the constituency
David Simpson, to show leadership and to speak out and unequivocally condemn
these threats and attacks and more importantly to use their influence to
bring them to an end." ENDS

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