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DUP challenged over loyalist links

3 November, 2005

Lagan Valley Sinn Féin Representative Cllr. Paul Butler has said that the revelations today on the Talkback show by leading Stoneyford loyalist Mark Harbinson that he has been involved in election work for the DUP raises once again very serious questions for that party regarding their relationship with unionist paramilitaries.

Cllr. Butler said:

" The DUP have for decades continued to deny any connection with violent unionist paramilitaries. This is despite well publicised links with groups like Ulster Resistance. In recent days Gary Blair a man convicted for his part in the killing of my party colleague Malachy Carey in Ballymoney in 1992 who went on to form an alliance with Billy Wright and the LVF while in prison has emerged as spokesperson for the DUP in Ian Paisley's North Antrim constituency.

" Today on the Talkback show leading Stoneyford loyalist Mark Harbinson a leader of violent protests at Drumcree and suspected of involvement in the intimidation of Catholics in Stoneyford and the surrounding areas confirmed that he has taken part in election work for the DUP.

" Nationalists are sick of the hypocrisy and double speak from the DUP. On one hand they continue to hold up political progress through their nonsensical position of refusing to talk to the largest nationalist party in the north Sinn Féin, while on the other hand they have no problem associating with individuals like Gary Blair and Mark Harbinson.

" It is time for the DUP leader to comment on this situation. It is no longer tenable to hide behind two line statements from their Press Office." ENDS

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