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Questions Raised For Orange Order After Scottish UDA Conviction

1 June, 2006

Sinn Féin Assembly member for Upper Bann John O’Dowd today said that the Orange Order had serious questions to answer after the conviction of yet another one of their members with UDA activity, this time in Scotland. Mr O’Dowd’s comments come after an East Fife Orangeman Stephen Moffett was last week convicted in Edinburgh of UDA membership and other serious offences including the possession of weapons.

Mr O’Dowd said:

“Last week a 45 year old Orangeman from East Fife Stephen Moffett was convicted in an Edinburgh court of being an active UDA member and of possessing UDA weaponry. This individual is the latest in a long line of Orange Order members who have been convicted of involvement in loyalist death squads.

“The Orange Order claim to be a religious organisation. They claim to be committed to peaceful activity, yet time and again the Orange Order are caught out with individuals like Moffett in their ranks. We witness the close links between the Orange Order and loyalist paramilitary gangs each summer during contentious parades in the north. Last summer both the UDA and UVF orchestrated serious rioting in Belfast on the foot of a re-routed Orange march.

“This latest conviction raises very serious questions for the Orange Order and once again places in the spotlight their links with violent unionist paramilitaries and demonstrates clearly to nationalists that the Order is not the peaceful, cultural, religious organisation that it claims.” ENDS

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