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DUP Position On Violence Exposed By Demand To Free Poyntzpass Killers

1 June, 2006

Sinn Féin Assembly member for North Antrim Philip McGuigan has said that the demand by senior DUP official Gary Blair for the release of the Poyntzpass killers (Irish News 31/05/06) should surprise nobody given his own personal history, but does expose again the DUPs hypocrisy on the issue of loyalist violence.

Mr McGuigan said:

"Not for the first time has senior DUP official Gary Blair demanded the release of those LVF members convicted for the double murders in Poyntzpass. This position should surprise nobody given Gary Blair's own personal history.

" In December 1992 Malachy Carey a Sinn Féin election agent in North Antrim was shot dead by unionist paramilitaries. One of those convicted in connection with the murder was Gary Blair. Gary Blair originally served his sentence on the UVF wings in Long Kesh before leaving them to join up with the anti-peace process LVF led by Catholic killer Billy Wright.

" Gary Blair as a qualifying prisoner was released early under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement in July 2000. Since then he has returned to live in the Ballymoney area and he assumed a senior position within the DUP in North Antrim constituency acting as the local PRO.

"The fact that Gary Blair holds the position he does within the DUP hierarchy exposes again the hypocrisy which marks the DUP position on loyalist violence. Over the years the DUP have been quite comfortable donning red berets in Ulster Hall or sharing platforms with the LVF in Portadown while at the same time claiming to be opposed to sectarian violence and murder." ENDS

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