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Foster has questions to answer on UDA meeting

31 May, 2017 - by John O'Dowd

Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd said today that the failure of DUP leader Arlene Foster to call for the disbandment of the UDA during a meeting yesterday was all about putting the electoral interests of the DUP before society as a whole.

John O’Dowd was speaking after Arlene Foster revealed she met yesterday with a leading UDA member and did not call on the organisation to be wound up despite the UDA murder of a man in Bangor this week.

John O’Dowd said:

“It beggars belief that only two days after the UDA murdered Colin Horner in Bangor that Arlene Foster did not challenge a senior UDA leader to disband the armed loyalist gang.  

“The UDA has been involved in murders, pipe bombings, intimidation, arson, drug dealing and extortion over recent years. 

“There is a responsibility on all in political leadership to challenge the very existence of paramilitary groups.

“However, twenty years on since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement political unionism has so far failed to step up to the plate in facing down violent loyalist extremism.

“Recently Arlene Foster claimed that Jeremy Corbyn’s meetings with Sinn Féin during the conflict raised questions about his democratic credentials.

 “A man was shot dead in broad daylight in front of his son just three days ago and yet she did not feel the need to call for the disbandment of the group responsible.

“A number of senior UDA figures have openly backed the DUP in recent election campaigns and one can only speculate that the failure to challenge the UDA is about putting the DUP’s electoral interests before the good of society.”  

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