DUP need to start delivering on unionist paramilitaries
Sinn Féin Assembly Group Leader John O'Dowd today said that it was time for the DUP to start delivering on an end to unionist paramilitarity control and criminality in loyalist communities.
Mr O'Dowd said:
"Last week on the Preparation for Government Committee the DUP agreed a motion demanding the end to paramilitary campaigns. The Good Friday Agreement requires that all of the parties use their influence to see an end to armed activity. Sinn Féin has lived up to this requiremnt in full.
"However since 1998, the efforts of the unionist parties to bring an end to the sectarian and criminal campaigns of unionist paramilitaries leave much to be desired. The DUP in particular have an undoubted influence over unionist paramilitaries given their close association with them over many decades. Only yesterday it was confirmed that former senior DUP figure George Seawright - a close colleague of Ian Paisley, Nigel Dodds and Sammy Wilson - was also a member of the UVF. Indeed Ian Paisley was a pall bearer at his funeral. In addition to this:
* The DUP sat on the North and West parades forum with the UVF and UDA
* Senior DUP MPs have lent their support to the 'Love Ulster' campaign which the UDA were involved in publicly launching
* In the 1970s Ian Paisley formed the Third Force
* In the 1980s the DUP formed Ulster Resistance which went on to import tonnes of weapons from South Africa to kill Catholics
* In the late 1990s Willie McCrea shared a platform with LVF leader and sectarian assassin Billy Wright
The man convicted of killing Sinn Féin member Malachy Carey, released from prison under the Good Friday Agreement, currently holds a senior position within the DUP organisation in North Antrim
* David Ervine has publicly stated that at least two former UVF members are currently DUP elected representatives
"Nationalists and republicans are sick of DUP politicians and Ian Paisley in particular lecturing our community on commitment to democratic activity given the reality of their own history. It is time that Ian Paisley and the DUP started to deliver on an end to unionist paramilitarism." ENDS