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Ballymena Murder Motivated By Anti-Catholic Hatred

9 May, 2006

Sinn Fein Assembly member for North Antrim Philip McGuigan has extended his deepest sympathies to the family of Michael McIlveen who was brutally murdered in Ballymena by a loyalist mob in a sectarian killing over the weekend.

Mr McGuigan said:

“I would wish to extend my deepest sympathies to the McIlveen family at this time. This murder was unjustifiable and was motivated entirely by sectarian hatred and bigotry.

“I was in Ballymena last night and there remains much anger at the events of the weekend and indeed at the years of discrimination and inequality which led directly to the circumstances which gave rise to this horrific crime.

“The catholic community in Ballymena have as much right as anyone else to live, worship and conduct business in that town as any other group. Unfortunately there are those within unionism in the town who have for decades sought to demonise and discriminate against nationalists and republicans in Ballymena.

“The local DUP controlled Council fail to share power with nationalists and republicans. The local MP and leader of the DUP Ian Paisley refuses to share power with nationalists and republicans in an Executive. Ian Paisley needs to reflect seriously on his position in the light of this murder and reflect long and hard about the message he is sending out to those within his community who engage in this type of violent anti-Catholic hatred.” ENDS

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