Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin challenges Paisley over sectarian attacks

31 August, 2005

Commenting after a second Catholic primary school in Ballymena has been attacked in as many days Sinn Féin North Antrim MLA Philip McGuigan said that not enough is being done to stop the campaign against Catholics and their property and has challenged Ian Paisley to do more.

Mr McGuigan said:

"This is the second attack on a primary school in Ballymena in as many days. People are absolutely sickened and disgusted that these attacks are continuing and that they are being directed towards education facilities of children. Nowhere near enough is being done to bring these attacks to an end.

"Yesterday I listened to the MP for this constituency Ian Paisley say that he had no influence over those that are waging this campaign. I disagree with this assertion. Most Nationalists and Republicans think that Ian Paisley has a great deal of influence over the section of community that is carrying out these attacks. His party sits on forums elsewhere in the North with the UDA, The UVF and with other Unionist paramilitaries. Has this contact been used to ask them to stop attacking homes, chapels, and schools in North Antrim?

"These attacks are happening in a climate were Ian Paisley and his DUP refuses to engage with Sinn Féin and were he refuses to share power in the North with Nationalism. This sends the very clear message that Nationalists and Republicans in his opinion are second class citizens. This fact is giving political cover to this current violent campaign.

"I am challenging Ian Paisley to do the right thing and to work with all elected representatives in his own constituency, including myself, to find a way of ending these attacks. That is the kind of political leadership that is required. It is required now before lives are lost." ENDS

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