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Maskey challenges unionist political leadership over feud

25 May, 2004

South Belfast Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey has challenged senior unionist politicians in the city to make their positions clear on the ongoing loyalist feud.

Mr Maskey said:

" Today we have the PSNI Chief Constable meeting with Paul Murphy to discuss a situation which he says 'could escalate out of control'. This after a man has been killed and we have seen daily bomb attacks across East Belfast and into North Down. Obviously Mr Orde believes that current situation is under control. I can assure him that nationalists living in interface areas who are fearful of this spilling over into sectarian violence do not share his confidence.

" After the incident involving Bobby Tohill in a Belfast bar unionist politicians were beating the British government's door down demanding action. Hugh Orde was on the media within hours apportioning blame. None of this has happened in this case. It seems that the MP for East Belfast has gone missing. No senior unionist political figures have commented.

" The British government response has been to house the East Belfast LVF in the 4 star Hilton Hotel, thereby endangering the lives of people working there and the local nationalist community in the Markets and surrounding areas. The double standards and hypocrisy of the unionist political leadership and the response of the British government to events like these is staggering." ENDS

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